Dental assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental care team. If you have strong communication skills, enjoy working with your hands as well as your mind and want a career with responsibility, dental assisting is for you.
The duties of a dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. The dental assistant performs many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills. Although state regulations vary, responsibilities may include:
- assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures;
- taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays);
- asking about the patient's medical history and taking blood pressure and pulse;
- serving as an infection control officer, developing infection control protocol and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment;
- helping patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatment;
- providing patients with instructions for oral care following surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the placement of a restoration (filling);
- teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health (e.g., tooth brushing, flossing and nutritional counseling);
- taking impressions of patients' teeth for study casts (models of teeth);
- performing office management tasks that often require the use of a personal computer;
- communicating with patients and suppliers (e.g., scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, billing and ordering supplies);
- helping to provide direct patient care in all dental specialties, including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and oral surgery;
Interested in a career change? Let APLMED Academy guide you in a choice that will benefit you, your family and your future. We have structured payment plans that can work with most budgets. Why wait any longer, your new career starts today!