They’re helpful, quick to offer you a smile (even if you can’t see it behind their masks), and vital to every step of your dental appointment. Dental assistants contribute more than most people realize, and that’s why we’re shining a spotlight on them today!
What is a Dental Assistant and What Do They Do?
Dental assistants are some of the most valuable people in a dental office because they handle so many tasks and keep the office running efficiently. It’s difficult to list all of the duties a dental assistant covers over the course of a day or week, because it changes so often.
- Ask about a patient’s medical history and update their file.
- Teach proper oral care habits and hygiene strategies, like toothbrushing.
- Help patients feel comfortable during their visit.
- Assist with dental procedures.
- Take and develop dental x-rays and take impressions to make dental molds.
- Sterilize equipment and handle infection control methods (extra important now!)
- Manage office needs, including patient and supplier interactions.
- Provide referrals to dental specialties as needed.
How to Become a Dental Assistant
Did you ever consider how many hats your dental assistant wears throughout the day? They’re always running from one task to the next, but they still have time for a kind word and a smile. Does it sound like something you’d like to do?
If you like the idea of a job that offers variety, flexibility, and an opportunity to help people, you may want to consider becoming a dental assistant. Many dental assistant programs take two years to complete in preparation for certification and licensure.
Though not all states require dental assistants to be certified and licensed to join a practice, most do. There are several programs available that provide hands-on instruction, externship experience, and an opportunity to specialize in one area, like orthodontics or pediatric dentistry.
Dental assistants make dental offices more efficient and improve the patient experience. If you’re looking for a dental assistant position, consider joining the Jefferson Dental and Orthodontics team. Our amazing team is always open to adding new, qualified team members! Apply to join us today!