Have you wondered if one of those dental assistant jobs could provide you with a good employment opportunity? Are you curious about the responsibilities, duties, and challenges that this job position involves? What Do Dental Assistants Do? Why not discover what a dental assistant has to do during a typical workday?
Dental Assistants are Team Players
As a dental assistant, you will be a valued team member and you are going to be required to put your skills and knowledge to good use. It is important that you find a job that suits your abilities and your personality. Sure, everyone wants to exercise some independence at work, but dental assistants must be able to work well with others. If you can be a follower as well as a leader then a dental assistant program could be “just what the doctor ordered”.
When you are hired as a dental assistant you will be helping the patients, the dentist, and the office staff. This means that your workday routine is constantly subject to change at a moment’s notice. Your scheduled work hours in the dental clinic could present you with opportunities that include a number of different tasks.
There are accredited dental assistant schools that offer programs to help students develop the skills that are necessary to work in any dental clinic. You may already have mastered many of the basic office fundamentals such as scheduling patient appointments, billing or answering the phones.
Learning the Ropes and Discovering the Daily Duties of a Dental Assistant
When you enroll in a dental assistant program it will give you the chance to learn the specialized techniques that will qualify you to work side by side with a dentist. Dental assistant jobs require dedication, patience and a commitment to deliver excellent care to each and every patient.
What do dental assistants do on a daily basis:
You may be expected to perform the following job duties:
Work with the scheduling/reception desk
Help with billing and bookkeeping chores
Obtain basic information for patient charts
Seat patients and ensure their comfort
Conduct inventories of supplies for the dental office as well as the dental clinic
Order, Receive , Unpack and Organize supplies
Talk with patients on the phone, in the reception area and in the clinic setting
Sterilize, prepare and hand-off a wide variety of dental instruments
Operate an autoclave machine
Learn how to set-up the individual trays required for each type of dental procedure
Assist the dentist with patient procedures
Understand and follow strict sterilization procedures at the dental clinic
Create dental impressions of a patient’s teeth
Work in the dental lab where you will help create bridges, crowns and tooth trays
Clean and polish new crowns- and instruct patient how to care for these crowns at home
Take specialized X-rays of a patient’s teeth
Develop dental X-ray film
Apply tooth sealant as directed
Manage fluoride treatments
Explain basic dental hygiene to patients and instruct them proper brushing/flossing techniques
While these tasks are well within the abilities of a dental assistant it does not mean that you will be performing all of these duties each and every day. You will be required to go where you are needed and you must be able to change your focus and adapt to each new situation.
Some dental assistant jobs keep every team member busy throughout the day. Other job positions may provide you with fewer opportunities to interact with patients and place more focus on cleaning, scheduling, and office work. You may have to divide your attention and time between a myriad of lab and office tasks and make sure that you do your best with each of these duties.
Advantages and Disadvantages- Can You Handle the Work?
There are a number of people who think that a dental assistant has a very easy job. After all, you will be working in a clean, comfortable office and do not have to worry about laboring outdoors where you will be exposed to rain, wind and extreme temperatures. While there are some definite advantages and benefits these jobs can also be very stressful and chaotic. If you have a flexible nature, enjoy dealing with people and you also have the ability to multi-task throughout the day then you could be a perfect fit for one of those dental assistant jobs that you have been reading about.
It all Begins with Enrollment in a Dental Assistant Program
After successful completion of one the dental assistant schools, you will be qualified to apply for jobs that offer good pay, flexible hours and good benefits. Dental clinic employees will usually be offered free (or deeply discounted) dental services. These employment-related benefits could include a broad range of dental options for you and your family, including crowns, fillings, and tooth-whitening procedures.
Choose one of the best paying Dental Assistant Jobs
Individuals with the skills and experience to handle the faster-paced and more challenging dental assistant jobs may want to apply for positions at large dental clinics or work with a specialty practice. There are many other opportunities for dental assistants to work in private offices, at schools or in public health settings. You might even want to consider working with an insurance company or applying for a job with a free-standing dental lab. Your skills and education will also open doors of opportunity that can lead you to even more rewarding job options in the future.