Dental Assistant Duties and Functions
October 16, 2013
The demand for quality dental hygiene has expanded over the years. Whether it’s because the proliferation of chocolates has become quite prominent throughout the years or because many people are more conscious about their dental health, there can be no doubt that careers related to dental health are rapidly expanding to meet the demands of the consumers.
One such career related to dental health is that of a dental assistant. Dental assistants throughout the years are obscured in the background. They are the ones we see mixing compounds in the background while the Dentist examines our mouths. For most people, the dental assistants provide some sort of distraction to ease the tension we feel as the Dentist invades our personal space and comfort.
As a dental assistant, you will be exposed to different personalities and people. If you enjoy being around people, love science, have a good memory, have a knack for being organized, and are able to stand for long periods, then being a dental assistant might be the right job for you. Like everything else in the medical field, being a dental assistant means you have to be patient with people and their needs. Being able to work with children is a huge plus as calming them down and gaining their trust is a talent that very few people have.
If you want to become a dental assistant, you need to be aware of the things you need to do on a daily basis. Dental assistants are given very basic, but nevertheless important tasks to perform in a dental office. Before a client arrives, they are responsible for cleaning the office, and ensuring that all instruments are clean and sterile. They perform a complete inventory of the materials in the office and order supplies that are lacking. When a patient arrives, they are the ones who make sure that the dental records are complete and available. They open new profiles for new patients and answer questions like the prices for cleaning or tooth extraction and what the patients should expect while the dentist works with them. Once the dentist arrives, she is responsible for introducing the new patient and the questions the patient has about the procedure. When the dentist has finished reviewing the patient’s past history, the dental assistant shows the patient to the cleaning area and prepares him or her for the procedure. Some dental assistants with extensive trainings can perform basic teeth cleaning duties. If the patient requires finer procedures done, it is the dental assistant’s job to obtain x-ray plates and teeth molds.
Getting proper education for dental assistants is very important. Schools approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation within the American Dental Association are a basic requirement that promising dental assistants should look for. Graduates from these schools should expect a better annual salary as they are qualified to become licensed dental assistants. The annual salary for dental assistants varies from state to state, depending on experience and education, they can earn about $32,000 annually.