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Neighborhood Health

Dental Assistant

Neighborhood Health


Job Summary

Neighborhood Health is an innovative network of 11 community health centers in Nashville and Lebanon, Tennessee.  We provide comprehensive primary care, integrated behavioral health, and dental services to almost 30,000 patients.  Our patients primarily include immigrants, residents of public housing, individuals experiencing homelessness, and persons living with addiction.  As a federally qualified health center, we provide care without regard to health insurance or a patient’s ability to pay.  We also strive to improve our Patient-Centered Medical Home model to ensure all patients get the right high-quality care, at the right place and the right time.

NATURE OF POSITION: The Dental Assistant is a member of the clinical team, providing technical assistance to dental professionals in the provision of clinical dental care. The Dental Assistant performs such duties as preparing the patient for dental treatment, assisting the dentist at the chair in restorative dentistry, and setting up the correct equipment for the dentist’s use. The Dental Assistant sterilizes instruments, performs dental X‑rays, and assists the dentist in laboratory work.  This staff member also establishes a friendly, warm atmosphere for the patients, keeping them calm and at ease as much as possible.   The dental assistant may also make appointments, complete all forms with the client, and discuss payment options with the client.  Must be able to work in a Patient-Centered Medical Home model. Must facilitate partnerships between patients, physicians, and health teams with a focus on care coordination and integration of treatment internally and externally. Must work diligently to ensure that services are accessible, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. Must be committed to eliminating barriers to care that are centered on the needs and convenience of patients above all other factors.

Job Responsibilities

  • Assists the Dentist in the administration of treatment through four-handed practices at the chairside.
  • Maintains responsibility and obligation primarily to the dental practitioner to whom he/she is assigned.
  • Assures that all instruments, charts, DVR, and radiographs are available in the operatory prior to the arrival of the patient.
  • Provides proper instruments, at the correct time, in proper sequence for any given treatment procedure.
  • Prepares dental materials correctly, as needed, and in an amount sufficient to meet the needs of the procedure but not so much as to allow wasting of materials.
  • Anticipates the sequence of dental procedures and is prepared in advance so that the dentist may work as efficiently as possible.
  • Maintains a clean oral working area.
  • Promotes an atmosphere supportive of good dental and general health.
  • Demonstrates good personal oral hygiene (healthy gums, clean teeth) as an example to the patients.
  • Questions each patient to ascertain home care status, either during breaks in the treatment or prior to the dentist’s arrival.
  • Whenever possible, instruct patients in techniques of flossing, brushing, and disclosing to help remedy any problems detected in 2b
  • Maintains a sterile and neat working environment.
  • All chairside clean‑up procedures are completed before any patient is seated.
  • Any portions of the dental chair exposed to saliva or the oral cavity are disinfected before any patient is seated.
  • Cleans and sterilizes instruments.
  • Hand washing will take place in the presence of every patient.
  • Reviews the health history, makes chart entries under the direction of the operator, and fills out DVR forms
  • The date of the health history review and any changes are entered on the treatment page and initialed by the assistant.
  • All exam findings and treatments rendered are recorded completely and accurately in the patient’s chart.
  • Clinical information entered on the DVRs is completed by the dental assistant. Patients are dismissed with the necessary records complete.
  • Assumes the responsibilities associated with any expanded duties that may be delegated by the Dentist.
  • Accepts delegation of only those duties within personal skill levels.
  • Exposes X‑ray films suitable for diagnostic purposes.
  • Develops, mounts, and labels films so as to assure their use in diagnosis.
  • Pours and trims models, fabricate trays and performs other lab duties.
  • Follows directions and responsibilities associated with the Dental Assistants’ rotating assignments as delegated.
  • Performs assigned housekeeping’ and maintains duty on the required date and initials assignment
  • Organizes and cleans lab and staff room on assigned dates.
  • Performs duties requested by the practitioner to whom the assistant is assigned.
  • Acquaints the patient with the aspects of his dental visit and provides support and. compassion to the patient when needed.
  • Operates as a member of a Health Care Team
  • Maintains a warm and professional demeanor.
  • Maintains cultural sensitivity to a diverse customer and team composition.
  • Acts as a team member.
  • Takes initiative in assisting other team members during lulls in one’s assigned duties.
  • Understands and complies with JCAHO patient safety standards including read-back, repeat orders, abbreviation use, etc.
  • Understands and complies with MSDS and UNHS policies.
  • Understands and complies with OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard and other OSHA safety measures.
  • Understands and complies with infection-control precautions.
  • Understands and complies with HIPAA and patient confidentiality standards.
  • Understands and applies knowledge of age-appropriate care.
  • Keeps abreast of insurance and TennCare information as it affects services.
  • Participates in continuing education and staff meetings and committees as requested.
  • Related duties as assigned.

DECISION-MAKING:  Moderate supervision to minimal with competency and experience


  • One year of work experience as a Dental Assistant is preferred.
  • Maintain current certification and TN license.
  • Good computer, spelling, filing, and other general office skills
  • Good basic reading, writing, and math skills
  • Good basic technical knowledge and skills related to clinical duties
  • Ability to speak clearly and to use tact, discretion, and sensitivity with patients
  • Ability to deal courteously and efficiently with providers, referral sources, and other business representatives.
  • Ability to use discretion in handling confidential information
  • Commitment to UNHS vision.

Additional Information


  • Vacation days, Sick Days, Floating Holidays
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance with cost-sharing
  • 403b

How to Apply

Please apply on our website Get Involved – Neighborhood Health (neighborhoodhealthtn.org).  You can review the job description, then complete an application and attach your resume.


  • Date Posted: March 26, 2024
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Other
  • Service Area: Health (Physical, Mental)
  • Start Date: 04/08/2024
  • Salary Range: $21.80
  • Working Hours: 40