A Day in the Life of a Dental Assistant

The duties of a dental assistant can vary widely. Depending on your employer, the services of a dental assistant can be requested on a temporary or permanent basis and the settings in which you work can very also.

In a dental office, dental assistants work under the supervision of dentists. They will assist in various procedures, such as oral surgery, examining a patient for signs of disease, applying tape, brush outs, and more. They are responsible for keeping the patient’s mouth clear, well-tended, and free from debris while the dentist drills holes in the teeth and may work with a suction device added to the mouth area.

  • Dental assistants help manage patient charts
  • They prepare patients for examinations
  • They can write impressions on request from a dentist
  • They coordinate and operate dental instruments and equipment such as hand and foot pedals
  • They can provide care summaries to patients
  • They can take care of the preventive treatments
  • Dentist assistants can organize and schedule appointments
  • They can perform simple procedures such as oral suctioning and stringing a wire through a patient’s mouth
  • Dental assistants can examine teeth for clear dental records
  • Dental assistants can make impressions of a patient’s bite
  • They can recognize which tools are necessary when a patient comes in for a procedure
  • They assess patients for grooves and cavities
  • They can prepare a filling and remove sutures

Dental Assisting Training Programs

It is necessary to complete a training program before you take your certification test at the beginning of this career. Technicians can attend a program at a local junior college, vocational school or technical institute. The structure of the program is modified so that it is tailored to the requirements of the profession. The common-sense portion is the hardest factor to overcome. It is recommended that you prepare as long as possible and ask for a recommendation from a school or institution that you have attended. Your success in this challenging career path may also depend on the help of a trustworthy trainer or the school who aided you in your training. If you are going to a job which you need to be informed about, it is vital that you get information and training at your site so that you will not be caught by surprise. Being prepared will also assure you that you will have a longer cycle time in the school and you will tend to make less mistakes because you were alert and organized.