Dental Assistant (VA Houston)

Department of Veterans Affairs

Houston, TX, USA

Full time

US$45.2-58.8k (annually)

Healthcare / Hospital

Aug 30

This job is no longer accepting applications.

These positions are assigned to the Dental Service of the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Center and are based in the Medical Center in Houston, Tx. Dental Assistants perform the full range of duties for routine patient care and perform some complex patient procedures under the general supervision of more experienced dental assistants or a dental supervisor.


  • Shows courtesy, respect and a positive attitude for patients, co-workers and the public. Provides assistance to customers with questions or concerns, provide service recovery.
  • Using the concepts of four-handed dentistry; assists with specialty procedures including oral surgery, periodontal therapy, endodontic, prosthodontics and implant placement and restoration;
  • Anticipates surgeons/specialists needs at each stage of treatment
  • Takes preliminary impression; selects and manipulates a variety of gypsums and waxes; pours, trims, and evaluate the quality of diagnostic casts; fabricates custom trays.
  • Performs Dental imaging, characterized by diagnostic quality, accurately oriented and exposed.
  • Dental imaging safety techniques are utilized, and retakes are minimized.
  • Imaging requests are accomplished with the desired timeframe. Imaging consults are closed/completed by close of business each day.
  • Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in setting up and cleaning up operatories
  • Instruments are properly prepared for sterilization by SPD standards. Instruments are prepared in a manner that does not delay clinical care.
  • Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in exposing images.
  • Able to scrub, gown and glove maintaining sterility.
  • Able to create and maintain a sterile field
  • 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
  • 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 JCAFIO requirements.
  • Monitors patient condition during treatment, being alert for signs of physical distress
  • Pours impressions and prepares study models
  • Makes final denture impression trays and prepares bite rims
  • Performs other dental laboratory functions as time and skill levels allow
  • Remove sutures
  • Performs Impression for diagnostic casts and preliminary impressions for prosthetic fabrication.
  • Remove temporary crown/bridge and clean tooth preparation of debris.
  • Recement and fabricate temporary crowns.
  • Coronal polishing of teeth.
  • Place rubber dam and matrix bands.
  • Provide post-operative and other appropriate patient education.

Work Schedules: Monday & Friday - 7am - 7:30pm

Tuesday - OFF

Wednesday & Thursday - 4:30p - 9pm

Saturday - 7am - 1:30pm

Telework: Not available

Virtual: This is not a virtual position.

Position Title/Functional Statement #:Dental Assistant/PD000000

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 jobAll 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 12/31/1959You may be required to serve a probationary periodSubject to a background/security investigationMust be proficient in written and spoken EnglishSelected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding processParticipation in the seasonal influenza and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination programs are requirements for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)


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: Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f).
  • Experience and Education:
  • (1) Experience. Six months experience that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work, or provides familiarity with the work. OR,
  • (2) Education. Successful completion of a 1-year dental assistant program accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). OR
  • (3) 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.
  • 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).
  • Exception: 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.

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

Grade Determinations:

GS-06: Experience. At least 1 year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level that demonstrates the core competencies described at that level. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following technical KSAs:

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

1. Ability to identify normal oral anatomy.

2. Advanced knowledge of instruments, materials, and standardized dental procedures used in all phases of restorative, surgical, endodontic and periodontal care and procedures.

3. Ability to monitor and perform basic interpretation of vital signs.

4. Ability to independently provide procedure-specific patient education and appropriate referral of patient concerns to treating dentist.

5. Ability to capture standard and special dental images of good diagnostic quality in traditional or digital formats.

6. Ability to perform maintenance on dental equipment used for routine and specialty dentistry.

7. Ability to enter and retrieve data utilizing electronic dental records.

8. Ability to perform dental assistant-appropriate laboratory procedures

References: VA Handbook 5005/46, Part II, Appendix G36, Dental Assistant Qualification Standard, dtd 04/19/2011. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

This position is at full performance level (GS-06).

Physical Requirements: Heavy Lifting (45 lbs and over); Heavy Carrying (45 lbs and over); Reaching above shoulder; Use of fingers; Both hands required; Walking (up to 4 hours); Standing (up to 4 hours); Both legs required; Ability to distinguish basic colors; Ability to distinguish shades of colors; Hearing (aid permitted); Mental and emotional stability required. This position requires some exposure to blood borne pathogens, body fluids, and other potentially infectious materials. (See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Services).


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:

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