A dental assistant works under close supervision of dentists. An assistant perform various tasks of office, patient care, and laboratory. A dental assistant is different from a dental hygienists.
A dental assistant disinfect and sterilize equipment and instruments, arrange and prepare the materials and instruments required to treat each patient and attain dental records of patients. The work of an assistant in the hospital is to make patient comfortable. Assistants prepare patients for treatment. The work of an assistant, during dental procedures, is to provide assistance to the dentist. They use materials and instruments to keep patient's mouth clear and dry by using devices such as suction. These workers instruct patients on general oral health care and post-operative.
A dental assistant prepares materials for restorations and impressions, capture dental X ray and develop X ray film as directed by the dentist. A dental assistant may apply cavity preventive agents to teeth or anesthetics to gums, remove sutures, situate rubber dams on the teeth to segregate them for individual treatment, and remove excess cement which is used in the filling process. In some states, the duties of dental assistants are expanding to include tasks such as restorative dentistry and coronal polishing functions for those assistants that meet experience requirements and specific training.
The work of a dental assistant is to make casts of the mouth and teeth from impressions, polish and clean removable appliances, and prepare temporary crowns. Dental assistants who work offices have to confirm appointments, keep treatment records, receive patients, send bills, order dental supplies, receive payments, and order dental materials.
Dental assistants work in a clean and spacious environment. Generally, their work area is near the dental chair. They assist dentists by way of arranging materials, instruments, and medication. A dental assistant has to wear masks, eye wear, gloves, and protective clothing to protect patients as well as themselves from infectious diseases. An assistant has to follow safety procedures to lessen the risks pertained to the use of X ray machines.
Almost half of the dental assistants work 35-40 hours a week. Some of the assistants work part-time or have flexible schedules. Sometimes, assistants have to work on evenings and Saturdays. Many dental assistants hold various jobs by working at dental offices, which are open on different scheduling.
Training and Educational Qualification
Many employers offer on-the-job training to new employees. However, various dental assisting programs are offered by junior colleges, community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools, and armed forces.
High school students who are interested to make a career in this field need to take courses in chemistry, biology, office practices, and health. A dental assisting program incorporates a fine blending of theoretical and practical subjects. The program includes laboratory, classroom, and pre-clinical instruction on dental assisting skills. Additionally, students obtain practical experience in clinics, dental schools, and dental offices. Many programs take about one year to finish the course and then lead to a diploma or certificate.
A two-year program in dental assisting offered by junior and community colleges leads to an associate degree. Every program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Some of the programs require science or computer associated courses for admission. There are many vocational schools offering four to six months courses in dental assisting. However, these courses are not accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
An increasing number of dental assistants obtain job skills through on-the-job training program. A dental assistant learn under close supervision of a dentist. They are taught dental terminology, how to execute everyday tasks, name of instruments, how to communicate with patients, and various other things that help to keep a dental office in good condition.
Every dentist has their own styles of dealing with things. Thus, an assistant hast to be accustomed to dentist's working style to work with them smoothly. Since the dental technology changes, assistants have to keep their knowledge updated to use them properly.
Many states control the duties that dental assistants are permitted to execute. Some of the states require registration or licensure that may include passing a practical or written examination. There are many schools offering courses in dental assisting. The duration of these courses is about ten to twelve months in length, which meet requirements of the state.
Some states require candidates to complete education courses of four to twelve hours in length. These courses ought to be approved by the state. Moreover, some of the states require continuing education to maintain registration or licensure. In some states, a dental assistant who are performing radiological procedures should complete special training.
Working professionals who have obtained higher education have utmost opportunity for advancement in this field. Some dental assistants move to office managers, dental product sales representatives, dental assisting instructors, and insurance claims processors. Some of these professionals become dental hygienists.