What Exactly Do Dental Assistants Do? A Quick Look at These Invaluable Health Care Team Members

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If you’ve ever thought about pursuing a career as a dental assistant, you may have wondered: what exactly do dental assistants do? Dental assistants are invaluable parts of any dental health care team, and they provide services to assist both patients and other health care staff members. Here’s a quick look at what makes a great dental assistant.

A Great Team Player

As the title entails, dental assistants play an important supporting role in any dentist’s office. One of the main roles of a dental assistant is to help the dentist and dental hygienist by setting up exam rooms for patient visits. This typically involves tasks like cleaning exam facilities, checking supplies, and sterilizing equipment.

Great Patient Interaction Skills

Although most of a patient’s interaction during a visit will be with a hygienist, dental assistants typically play a role in patient interaction as well. Often, dental assistants will greet patients in the waiting room or at the door and escort them to the exam room. They may also help the patient prepare for their cleaning or operation by ensuring that they are comfortable while they wait for the dentist or hygienist. During dental treatment, dental assistants will often be available to in order to ensure the comfort of patients throughout the entire dental procedure. Dental assistants mat also interact with patients after exams or operations by teaching patients about proper oral health procedures and providing nutritional counseling services.

An Organized Administrative Person

Dental assistants are typically very organized individuals, as they play a major role in office administration and management duties. These duties will typically include tasks such as processing client information, processing payments, filing, answering phones, and ordering and receiving office supplies.

A Technical and Knowledgeable Part of the Dental Health Team

Dental assistants must also be technically knowledgeable, and be able to perform or assist with various kinds of lab work. This can include work like taking and developing x-rays, taking a patient’s blood pressure and pulse, and developing study casts of patients’ teeth.

Training Required to Become a Dental Assistant

Although dental assistants are not required to possess any formal certification, completion of a post-secondary dental assistant program can help you fast-track your way to a career as a dental assistant. The Arizona school of dental assisting offers a 12-week training program, as well as career placement services, that help to prepare students for a career in dental assisting. If you’re a great team player, love working with people, and have an ability to learn administrative and technical schools, training to become a dental assistant could be a rewarding career choice. Arizona dental schools can provide you with the training you need to enter this exciting field. Working as a dental assistant lets you spend your days in an enjoyable environment, working comfortable hours. And, for those interested in advancing in the field of dentistry, working as a dental assistant provides plenty of opportunities to learn more about oral health and patient care, so you can advance to become a hygienist or a dentist.

Sarah Pinkerton

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