What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Dental Assistant?
The job of a dental assistant may sound easy. The belief and thinking is that a dental assistants job duties and responsibilities cannot be difficult and hence there will be much less pressure on the job when compared to other health care assistance positions. This might have been true a while back but like we mentioned in our article on “How to become a Dental Assistant“, these days a dental assistant is expected to do much more. Not just do much more but because of all the added responsibilities, one has to undergo months of training and coursework in order to be even considered for a position.
Getting back to the roles and duties, general speaking, dental assistants serve as an aide or helpers to dentists and orthodontists. They assist dentists in performing various dental procedures and operations and make sure that the activities inside the dental clinic or office are conducted properly and accordingly.
Clinical Duties of a Dental Assistant
- While a dental assistant does not have the license to actually perform any kind of dental procedure, dental assistants work inside dental clinics by preparing the tools, equipment and machines that will be used during a procedure. They are also present during routine dental service type of activities where they assist the dentist in handing out tools and keeping the patient relaxed while the dentist is performing the necessary tasks.
- Dental assistants also provide to the needs of patients after a dental operation by handing out their medications and providing oral care tips and hygiene materials. This goes a long way in reducing the workload of the dentists.
- Dental assistants are also in-charge with cleaning the clinic not only after a dental job but also during office hours. They clean and sterilize instruments, dispose used gloves, tissues or bandages, and disinfect the whole area at the end of the day. They are also in charge of operating dental machines and equipment before and after these are used.
- They also assist in making crowns, conduct X-ray procedures, apply topical creams and rubber pads on the tongue and gums of the patients prior to a dental job.
Administrative Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants also take charge of different office workloads inside a dental clinic. These include:
- Filing of records – Dental assistants receive, file and organize records of previous and current patients, medical bills, procurement of medications and materials, as well as other subscribed services by their dentists. It is important that they know how to keep records and bills properly in order to maintain steady and efficient operations inside the dental clinic.
- Arrange patient appointments – Dental assistants also take calls from clients and manage their appointments depending on the availability of the dentist. They also keep patient contact details for follow-ups.
- Storage of materials and equipment – Dental assistants manage the different needs of dentists, such as the materials for making crowns and dentures, medications, instruments used during dental procedures, and other necessary items. They also keep records of the materials stored in the clinic and keep tabs on when to order new items.
- Receptionists – Dental assistants also act as receptionists, and it is their responsibility to make sure that their patients are kept comfortable and at ease whenever they come to the clinic, as it is a common notion for patients to be afraid of dentists.
The duties and responsibilities of dental assistants may seem a lot but with proper knowledge and adequate training these tasks will not be quite as difficult as it sounds. Unlike other health care assistance jobs, people in this occupation are not exposed to medically related pressure situations or emergencies and therefore get to enjoy a more relaxed working environment.
No Related Articles.