When you go to the dentist office, you spend the majority of your time with the dental assistant. The person with a smile, and friendly demeanor who makes the whole experience one you repeat each year. What does their day entail that makes dental assisting rewarding?

What is a Dental Assisting?

The primary role of a dental assistant is to anticipate the needs of both doctor and patient. The day’s work doesn’t end there for the dental assistant. When you see the dentist, you have x-rays taken or maybe even impressions. A dental assistant is responsible for every instrument and item needed for the procedure.

The assistant also hands the dentist the instruments and items necessary throughout the procedure at the appropriate times. The dentist may even allow the assistant to finish the procedure in some cases. Afterwards, the assistant sterilizes all of the equipment, ensuring all broken or non-functional instruments are discard and replaced. The room must also undergo a complete wipe down with specialized cleansers to keep you safe at each visit. These skills are vital to ensure the safety of every patient seen by the dentist.

Your dental chart will have special annotations made by the dental assistant regarding where you have cavities, prosthetics, and how deep the pockets of your gum tissue are around your teeth. Depending on the clinic, the skill set of the assistant, and the regulations in your municipality, the assistant may also clean your teeth.  Throughout the appointment the assistant provides you with tips and advice on how to better care for your teeth, also known as oral hygiene instruction.

Dental assisting training instructs in all of these skills to ensure you have a well-rounded professional catering to your oral health needs. Many assistants also manage the front desk. This entails setting up appointments, working with insurance, answering the phone, and ensuring the safety of personal health information. Dental assisting training prepares the hopeful assistant for all of these skills.

The day of a dental assistant is full of a variety of experiences, people, and opportunities for growth. Assistants never lack in work to do around the clinic so they don’t have much opportunity to get bored on the job. Who doesn’t  smile when they feel productive and challenged daily?