Dental Assistant

Washington, D.C
Jan 21, 2023
Jan 29, 2023
Full Time

Some duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Assists the dentist in many aspects of direct patient care and performs other clinical and clerical functions independently of direct supervision.
  • Shows courtesy, respect, and a positive attitude for patients, co-workers and the public.
  • Provides assistance to customers with questions or concerns, provides service recovery.
  • Sets up operatory and/or surgery suite for planned dental procedure and cleans dental unit for timely turnover.
  • Passes instruments safely, accurately, and efficiently.
  • Keeps operative field clear of debris and retracts oral tissues effectively and comfortably.
  • Prepares dental medicaments and impression materials per manufacturer's instructions.
  • Accomplishes all intra-operative procedures within standard infection control protocols.
  • Assists in routine general dental procedures.
  • Assists in specialized dental procedures, such as oral maxillofacial surgery, endodontics, and surgical periodontics.
  • Conducts dental imaging, Images are characterized by diagnostic quality, accurately oriented and exposed.
  • Dental imaging safety techniques are utilized, and retakes are minimized.
  • Imaging requests are accomplished within the desired time frame.
  • Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in setting up and cleaning up operatories.
  • Instruments are properly prepared for sterilization by SPS standards.
  • Instruments are prepared in a manner that does not delay clinical care.
  • Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in exposing images.
  • Assists patients in scheduling appointments.
  • Assists in filling gaps in the doctor's schedule due to late cancellations and failed appointments.
  • Assists dentist in charting findings and treatment plans in patient records.
  • Verifies dental eligibility.
  • Maintains patient confidentiality per HIPAA with written and verbal information.
  • Follows computer security regulations.
  • Modifies care as necessitated by patient's age and abilities (patient transfer and position).
  • Provides accurate and understandable instructions to patients.
  • Participates in patient identification and time out per JCAHO requirements.
  • Monitors patient condition during treatment, being alert for signs of physical distress.
  • Monitors patient (BP, pulse EKG, pulse oximeter), and condition during moderate sedation and during recovery period following procedure.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: 00000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • English Language Proficiency. Dental assistants must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a, this part.
  • Experience and Education:
    • Experience . Six months experience that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work, or provides familiarity with the work. OR
    • Education. Successful completion of a 1-year dental assistant program accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). OR
    • Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying.
Certification: Public Law 97-35 requires that persons who administer radiologic procedures meet the credentialing standards in 42 CFR Part 75. Essentially, they must have successfully completed an educational program that meets or exceeds the standards described in that regulation, and is accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education, and be certified as radiographers in their field.
  • Provisions for Certification of Radiologic Competence:
    • Successful completion of the Dental Radiation Health and Safety Examination administered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.; OR
    • Successful completion of the Principles and Practice of Dental Radiology and Radiographic Safety courses and examinations developed by the Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Dentistry; OR
    • Successful completion of a radiation health and safety program or examination approved by a state board of dentistry or the Department of Defense (DoD).
  • Non-certified applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements for certification of radiologic competence may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate dental assistant under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405 (a) (1) (D). Failure to obtain certification during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment. This [will result in removal from the GS-681 series and] may result in termination of employment.
  • May based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).
  • Such employees may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance level, or [changed to lower grade] within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journey level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. Such employees MUST meet the certification requirement before they can be promoted to those higher grade levels.
  • Employees who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard.
  • Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or certification that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation.
  • If an employee who was retained under this provision leaves the occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation.
  • Grade Determinations:

    GS 03- Experience or Education: None beyond the basic requirements

    GS 04-
  • Experience or Education. In addition to the basic requirements;
    • 1 year of experience at the next lower level, OR
    • 2 years of education above high school that included completion of a dental assistant program accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on [Dental] Accreditation [(CODA)].
  • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities - In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
    • Basic knowledge of infection control and safe instrument handling.
    • Basic knowledge of dental procedures and medical emergencies.
    • Ability to perform basic radiographic image capture and processing/retrieval.
    • Basic knowledge of maintenance, care and storage of dental equipment.
    • Basic knowledge of patient privacy requirements.
  • GS 05-
  • Experience or Education: To qualify at the GS-5 grade level you must meet the following;
    • In addition to the requirements listed at GS-4 above, applicants must demonstrate at least 1 year of experience equivalent to/at the next lower GS-4 grade level that demonstrates the core competencies described at that level. OR
    • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study that included or was supplemented by completion of a dental assistant program by CODA.
  • Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: In addition to the experience above the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSA's:
    • Knowledge of anatomy and ability to evaluate diagnostic quality.
    • Broad knowledge of common medical emergencies and vital signs measurement.
    • Basic knowledge of instruments, materials and standardized dental procedures.
    • Ability to learn and utilize software programs used within VHA.
    • Basic communication skills to provide patient instructions according to established protocol.
  • GS 06-
  • Experience: To qualify at the GS-6 grade level you must meet the following;
    • At least 1 year of experience equivalent to the next lower GS-5 grade level that demonstrates the core competencies described at that level.
  • Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: In addition to the experience above the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSA's:
    • Ability to identify normal oral anatomy.
    • Advanced knowledge of instruments, materials, and standardized dental procedures used in all phases of restorative, surgical, endodontic and periodontal care and procedures.
    • Ability to monitor and perform basic interpretation of vital signs.
    • Ability to independently provide procedure-specific patient education and appropriate referral of patient concerns to treating dentist.
    • Ability to capture standard and special dental images of good diagnostic quality in traditional or digital formats.
    • Ability to perform maintenance on dental equipment used for routine and specialty dentistry.
    • Ability to enter and retrieve data utilizing electronic dental records.
    • Ability to perform dental assistant-appropriate laboratory procedures.
  • Preferred Experience:
  • Certification in basic life support methods is highly desirable.
  • Certification by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes DANB as the national certification for Dental Assistants. DANB certification is not required, but highly desirable for the appointment of Dental Assistants up to and including the full performance level, and is required for all positions above the full performance level.
  • References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G36.

    The full performance level of this vacancy is GS 06. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS 03 to GS 06.

    Physical Requirements: Ability to lift up to 15 pounds and light carrying less than 15 pounds. Straight pulling, reaching above shoulder, use of fingers, both hands required, standing 4 hours, repeated bending, ability for rapid mental muscular coordination simultaneously, near vision correctable at 13' to 16' to Jaeger 1 to 4. Far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other, depth perception, ability to distinguish shades of colors, and hearing (aid permitted).


    IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

    Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: .

    Additional information

    Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

    This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

    This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

    VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

    Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

    If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .