Dental Assistant

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Position Title:           Dental Assistant

Salary:                     $18/hr+, DOE; Generous Benefits Package  

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

Reports to:               Dental Director


As a key part of Wallace’s dental team, our dental assistants support hygienists and dental students in providing professional, high-quality oral health care and education to a broad range of patients. This position also offers assistance where needed to ensure smooth, efficient running of the dental program and participates in ongoing evaluation of operations to assure delivery of outstanding patient care as well as financial sustainability of the clinic. Since comprehensive oral health care is a new service at Wallace, we are seeking Dental/Expanded Practice Assistants with at least one to two years of experience, ideally at a community health center. 


The Wallace Medical Concern (WMC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center 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


  • 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
  • Takes and prepares radiographs using conventional or digital technology and following proper radiation safety precautions (requires specific certification in Oregon)

Additional Performance Expectations for EFDAs:

  • 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 

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 



  • High school diploma or GED required
  • Completion of a nationally accredited dental assisting program
  • Certified as dental assistant or EFDA with radiological proficiency (or ability to obtain radiological certification within 30 days of hire)
  • Must have CPR/BLS certification, or ability to obtain within 30 days from hire
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, verbal and written
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a diverse team in a fast-paced environment
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and institutional regulations and guidelines for the provision of dental outpatient services
  • Ability to teach patients of all ages about oral hygiene and preventive care
  • Ability to set up and prepare dental equipment and instruments in accordance with regulations and guidelines
  • Ability to comply with dental office infection control plan to meet OSHA, CDC, and ADA standards
  • Must maintain current level of dental assisting skills and knowledge through continuing education courses


  • Bilingual English/Spanish speakers highly desired
  • Familiarity with EPIC medical records system preferred
  • One to two years experience in a dental practice setting
  • Experience caring for patients with barriers to accessing care such as poverty, language, unstable housing, or mental health (FQHC experience highly desired)


Must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. 

Work is primarily performed in an office/clinic environment. There may be some time spent in the community or on Wallace's mobile medical van. Some evening or weekend hours may be required. 

Moderate physical activity is required, such as handling objects up to 15-20 pounds, assisting patients with standing and/or walking. 

Work involves exposure to potentially dangerous materials and situations that require adherence to safety precautions and may include the use of protective equipment. Will receive training in bloodborne pathogens. 


Please send your resume and a cover letter indicating why you are an excellent candidate for this position. Please note your application must include a cover letter to be considered.

This position will remain open until filled.

The Wallace Medical Concern is an inclusive organization that values diversity. Those with experience working alongside culturally specific communities, marginalized groups, and applicants with lived experience around issues of poverty are all encouraged to apply.

Location: Portland, OR
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