A certified dental assistant is a licensed professional who provides oral health care services and clinical support at dentists’ offices. They welcome patients and establish a rapport to make them comfortable and record detailed medical and dental histories, measure vital signs, and take x-rays. For procedures and examinations, dental assistants prepare treatment rooms, apply any required topical anesthetic, and assist dentists and dental hygienists by handing off the necessary dental instruments and dental supplies. After an appointment is complete, they update patient records and sterilize all equipment and instruments while adhering to all dental office infection control policies and safety regulations. Dental assistants will also provide post-operative instruction, schedule follow-up appointments, and answer patient questions about oral hygiene. They typically work in a clinical environment at a dental practice, at public health departments, or in schools specializing in dental care.