10 Things Dental Assistants Do
There are some misconceptions about what dental assistants actually do. Many people picture dental assistants sitting next to a dentist and handing them the tools they ask for, like a vending machine. While dental assistants do play this key role in a dental appointment, they do so much more. Dental assistants have a lot to offer, and their jobs are complex and rewarding. Dental assisting is a growing field as people realize how interesting the profession can be – even as a full time career.
10 Things Dental Assistants Do
- Hand Tools: Yep, your image of dental assistants handing tools to the dentist is correct. They have to identify and helpfully hand tools to the dentist, even anticipating the dentist’s needs.
- Prepare the Chair: Before patients are led back to their station, the dental assistants have prepared it. Necessary paperwork, tools, and other adjustments have been made by smart dental assistants to help the appointment go as smoothly as possible.
- Sterilize & Store: Dental assistants are primarily responsible for the care and keeping of the expensive and complex dental tools in a dental office. They have to sterilize the tools and store them properly, as well as retrieve them and order new tools when necessary.
- Patient Communication: Your dental assistant will help you stay comfortable during your visit. Dental assistants are responsible for answering basic patient questions, meeting patient needs, and passing on relevant communication to the dentist.
- Records: Dental assistants need to be well-versed in the recording and filing sections of their dental office. They need to retrieve records for incoming patients each day and properly record the work they received during that appointment.
- Hygiene: In certain states dental assistants can perform basic polishing and cleaning of teeth. Almost all dental assistants are expected to instruct the patients in proper oral hygiene. They may also supply patients with complimentary toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, and more.
- Billing & Payment: Of course a dental office will have an accountant or billing department, but often dental assistants need to be aware of regular billing procedures. Dental assistants can communicate options and cost to the patients for the decision-making process.
- Scheduling: In conjunction with or in the place of receptionists, dental assistants can help patients schedule their appointments and come back for recommended procedures. The good organizational skills of dental assistants help them to meet the needs of the office and the patient.
- Time Management: Dental assistants are usually the ones keeping track of the dentist’s time. They can be aware of the appointments, how long they might take, when they’re going overtime, and when emergencies like sickness or rush appointments need to occur.
- Slack: Dental assistants are the lifeblood of the dentist office because they pick up all the slack and solve many problems. Dental assistants are highly valued because they fill many roles and help an office run smoothly. A bonus for them is that their jobs are never boring or monotonous.
Dental assisting is a noble and exciting field, ready for your entry. Come see today if our school can prepare you for a lucrative new future.