A dental assistant is a qualified individual who supports a dentist and the dental team. A dental assistant can perform a variety of tasks in a dental office, that could include individualized patient care, office duties, and laboratory duties. A dental assistant can help with the efficiency of a dentist with the delivery of quality health care and is regarded as a very valuable member of a dental team. Most dental assistants that choose to work in the field of dentistry should have strong communication skills, enjoy working with others as a team, an interest in science, an understanding of the human body, and the aptitude to problem solve.
The duties of a dental assistant are sometimes considered to be the most comprehensive in a dental office. A dental assistant performs many tasks that will require them to have both the interpersonal and technical skills that are needed to become a dental assistant. Most state regulations will vary from state to state, but some of the responsibilities of a dental assistant could include:
Assisting the dentist with various treatment procedures
Taking dental radiographs (x-rays)
Helping patients feel comfortable during and after a dental treatment
Giving the patient the needed instructions for oral care after surgery or other dental procedures
Recording information about the patient’s medical history and taking blood pressure and pulse
Sterilizing instruments and equipment
Teaching patients the importance of proper oral health
Performing various office tasks
Communicating with patients and suppliers
Direct patient care in all fields of dental specialities, including pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, oral surgery, and periodontics
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