If you're looking for a career in the dental industry, becoming a dental assistant is a great option. Dental assistants play an important role in dentistry, and their duties vary depending on the clinic or office they work in.
In this blog post, we will discuss the various duties that dental assistants are responsible for. So if you're interested in learning more about this career, keep reading!
Schedule Appointments & Answer Phones
The first and perhaps most important duty of a dental assistant is to schedule appointments and answer phones. This is the primary way that patients will interact with the office, so it's important that dental assistants are able to handle these duties in a professional and courteous manner.
In addition to scheduling appointments, dental assistants may also be responsible for confirming appointments and rescheduling as needed.
Other Administrative Duties
Most people think that the only job of a dental assistant is to hand the dentist the instruments he needs and to make sure the patient doesn’t choke on his own spit. But there’s so much more to it than that! Beyond being the dentist’s right-hand man (or woman), dental assistants also have a number of other administrative duties.
For example, they are responsible for updating and maintaining patient dental records, overseeing patient check-in procedures, coding and preparing insurance forms, scheduling referral and testing appointments, and generally keeping the office running smoothly. So next time you’re in for a cleaning, be sure to give your dental assistant a big thank you – without them, your dentist would be lost!
Prepare Patients & Assist Dentists
Another important duty of dental assistants is to prepare patients for their appointments. This includes taking and recording vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature.
Dental assistants may also help position patients in the dental chair and provide them with a drape to ensure their modesty. During procedures, dental assistants will often act as the dentist's assistant, handing them instruments and providing suction as needed.
Take X-Rays & Perform Lab Work
Dental assistants are also responsible for taking x-rays and performing other lab work. X-rays are an important part of the dental process, as they allow dentists to detect problems that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Dental assistants must be properly trained in how to take x-rays, as well as how to process them correctly.
Make Dental Impressions
In some cases, dental assistants may also be responsible for making dental impressions. Dental impressions are used to create models of patients' teeth, which are then used to create dental crowns, bridges, and other appliances.
To make an impression, dental assistants mix a putty-like material and place it over the patient's teeth. Once the material hardens, it is removed and used to create the dental appliance.
Dental assistants are responsible for sterilizing instruments. This is a critical part of the job, as it ensures that patients are not exposed to harmful bacteria and viruses. Dental assistants must follow strict protocols when sterilizing instruments, and they must also keep track of which instruments have been used on which patients.
Clean Up After Procedures
After dental procedures, it is the responsibility of the dental assistant to clean up the treatment area. This includes disposing of any used materials, such as gloves, masks, and gauze. Dental assistants must also disinfect the treatment area and make sure that all instruments are properly sterilized.
Assist With Procedures
Dental assistants are often responsible for assisting the dentist during procedures. This includes handing the dentist instruments, providing suction, and keeping the patient's mouth dry. Dental assistants may also be responsible for applying topical anesthesia and preparing patients for dental procedures.
As you can see, there are many different duties that dental assistants are responsible for. While the exact duties of a dental assistant may vary from office to office, these are some of the most common tasks that they perform.
If you're thinking about becoming a dental assistant, be sure to research the job and make sure that it's a good fit for you.
Whenever you're ready to get a job as a dental assistant, Stynt is always here to help you find the perfect fit! We can connect you with jobs no matter where you are in the country.