Dental Assistant

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Position Title:                     Dental Assistant

Salary:                                 $16+ per hour, DOE

Status/Hours:                     40 hours per week, non-exempt

Reports to:                         Dental Practice Manager


Our dental assistants are a key part of our team, supporting dentists, hygienists, and dental students in providing professional, high quality oral health care and education to our patients. This position will also provide reception coverage approximately half time, ensuring smooth, efficient running of the dental program and delivery of outstanding patient care.

Expanded Functions Dental Assistants are highly encouraged to apply, but EFDA certification is not required.


The Wallace Medical Concern mission statement: “We provide an open door to exceptional health services and connections that support individuals and their families in healthy living.”

The Wallace Medical Concern (WMC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center that is making a visible difference in improving the health outcomes of our community. As a rapidly growing patient-centered primary care home, we’re committed to offering high quality programs based on the most promising and progressive best practices. We’re deeply rooted in our dynamic, vibrant, multi-cultural--and underserved--community. We believe that health care extends beyond the exam room, and focus on serving the whole person with support and resources that engage them fully in creating good health.


The WMC staff is our greatest asset in providing essential, high-quality health services to the greater Portland area.  And as the community we support grows, our team grows with it.  We offer an exceptional workplace the values individual contributions, cultural diversity, and ongoing learning. 

When you join our team, you will…

…Bring good health to overlooked and underserved individuals and families in our community

…Collaborate with dedicated staff and volunteers an open, cooperative and respectful environment


Dental Assistant

  • Prepares and maintains dental instruments, supplies and equipment, including taking inventory and reordering as necessary
  • Maintains proper aseptic techniques necessary with dental equipment; cleans and properly sterilizes instruments and records all sterilization activities; helps manage the dental office infection control plan to meet OSHA, CDC and ADA standards
  • Prepares the operatory for patient visits, including cleaning, disinfecting and restocking the room
  • Scans reception room for patients and helps to manage patient flow
  • Seats patient in chair and explains procedures to be performed; Collects and records patient health histories
  • Drapes patient with protective linens and sets up instrument tray containing instruments, suction, gauze and other required supplies
  • Prepares dental materials—cements, amalgams, composites, impression materials, etc.
  • Assists with dental charting as appropriate
  • Assists in the prevention and management of dental emergencies
  • Manages the patient during dental procedures
  • Provides active chairside assistance; transfers instruments as appropriate for four-handed dentistry; anticipates the dentist’s needs
  • At the conclusion of the procedure, assists patient, clears work site of instruments and other materials; follows proper infection control protocols and prepares the operatory for the next patient
  • Monitors and documents the flow of laboratory cases; maintains lab facility

Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (if applicable)

  • Takes and prepares radiographs using conventional or digital technology and following proper radiation safety precautions (requires specific certification in Oregon)
  • Applies topical fluoride and varnishes, and pit and fissure sealants
  • Polishes coronal surfaces of patient’s teeth (without high-speed instruments) to remove stains/soft deposits and polishes amalgams or composite surfaces
  • Fabricates, preliminarily fits and removes temporary crowns for final cementation; places temporary restorative materials and removes excess cement from fabricated restorations
  • Takes impressions for study casts, athletic mouth guards and custom trays. Performs laboratory procedures neatly and efficiently. Pours models with no bubbles, properly trims models, polishes dental prostheses, and makes vac-u-press forms

Dental Reception

  • Provides reception coverage about half-time and/or as needed
  • Reviews and prepares the daily schedule for dental staff
  • Makes appointments for patients according to scheduling policy; confirms appointments and follows up with no-show patients according to the policy
  • Greets patients coming into the clinic
  • Answers the telephone and directs calls appropriately
  • Registers patients in computerized scheduling, billing, and dental records system (verifying, updating, and correcting patient information), ensuring each patient has an accurate record and creating new records as needed
  • Confirms with insurer that the patient is covered by that insurance and verifies coverage limitations and eligibility for services to be provided, determining the patient’s estimated co-payment responsibility
  • Assists patients with completing dental history and consent and financial forms as needed
  • Triages walk-ins or emergencies in accordance with clinic policy and works patients meeting emergency criteria into open slots in the daily schedule; schedules future appointments as available for patients whose needs are not emergent
  • Generates and checks encounter forms for each patient at the completion of visits to ensure accuracy and completeness
  • Completes the check-out process with patients, collecting co-pays and outstanding balances on accounts and scheduling follow-up appointments as needed to complete the treatment plan
  • Manages all aspects of the prior authorization process, submitting documentation, monitoring and tracking status of requests
  • Processes referrals
  • Notifies supervisor or other appropriate staff of conflicts or problems
  • Inputs patient data into disease registries/tracking systems
  • Reconciles daily payments and prepares bank deposits
  • Manages inventory of office supplies, ordering and restocking as needed
  • Performs photocopying, scanning, and other administrative duties
  • Opens and distributes mail

Wallace Team Member

  • Complies with all applicable laws and fully cooperates with the Wallace compliance program
  • Participates in Continuous Quality Improvement initiatives
  • Participates in health literacy events, volunteer retention and related activities
  • Performs other duties as assigned


  • At least one to two years of experience in a dental practice serving diverse populations, preferably including caring for patients with multiple barriers such as poverty, language, mental illness or unstable housing; FQHC experience highly desired
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred
  • Excellent and sincere customer service
  • Skilled at teaching patients of all ages about oral hygiene and prevention
  • Knowledge of Federal, State and institutional regulations and guidelines for the provision of dental outpatient services
  • Ability to set up and prepare dental equipment and instrumentation in accordance with established regulations and guidelines
  • Ability to manage the dental office infection control plan to meet OSHA, CDC and ADA standards
  • Maintains and expands current level of dental assistant skill and knowledge by periodically attending continuing education programs
  • Strong computer skills in a Windows-based environment, and with electronic health records and practice management systems; experience with EPIC preferred


  • Displays respect, kindness and compassion toward all Wallace patients, staff, volunteers and community partners; continually strives to create a culturally competent workplace
  • Maintains patient confidentiality
  • Able to work effectively at all levels in a collaborative team environment
  • Accepts and offers guidance in a constructive and appropriate manner
  • Places a high value on personal and departmental performance excellence and meeting financial and productivity goals for the dental program
  • Responds professionally to high-pressure situations, time limits and change


  • Certified by the Oregon Board of Dentistry as a Dental Assistant or Expanded Function Dental Assistant, with Radiological Proficiency certification
  • Pursues appropriate CEUs as required to maintain certifications and to stay abreast of advances in the field
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • CPR certification


  • Work is performed primarily in an office/clinic environment, with some time spent in the community or on Wallace’s mobile medical van. Some evening or weekend hours are required.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Requires ability to sit, stand, lift, carry, walk, read fine print, and communicate in person, in writing, by telephone and electronically
  • Moderate physical activity. Requires handling average-weight objects up to 15-20 pounds, assisting with patients and standing and/or walking for most of the day.
  • Work involves considerable exposure to unusual elements such as extreme temperatures, unpleasant odors and/or loud noises
  • Work environment involves exposure to potentially dangerous materials and situations that require following extensive safety precautions, and may include the use of protective equipment
  • Will work with blood or blood-borne pathogens and will require OSHA training


Please send your resume and a cover letter indicating why you are an excellent candidate for this position.


Location: Portland, OR
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