The first week of March is Dental Assistants Recognition Week. Dental assistants help dentists achieve quality care and can drastically increase the efficiency and productivity of dental office operations.
What do dental assistants do?
Dental assistants perform many duties that require both technical and interpersonal skills. Their job is one of the most varied and comprehensive jobs in the office. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), their duties can 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
As you can see, the scope of what dental assistants contribute to the dental profession is wide, and is essential to making a dentist’s office an environment that is as friendly and efficient as possible. So take time this week to thank your dental assistants for all that they do!
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Dawn Gayken, DDS in The Woodlands today!