1. Health

What’s it Like to Be a Dental Assistant?

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Are you interested in a position as a dental assistant?
Considering a career as a dental assistant? People often consider going back to school to earn an education in search of a better future. Do you want both the comfort of a career and the satisfaction of working in a dental office? Becoming a dental assistant could be the ideal healthcare path for you.

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that jobs for this position will increase by 8% between 2021 and 2031, this can be a promising career path — one that can come with stability and opportunity for advancement. Visit more here about this or similar articles.

Does that sound tempt to you? If so, read on to learn what the job is like and what it takes to become a dental assistant in today's work environment.

The daily tasks

Dental assistants dip their hands into many aspects of patient care. If you become a dental assistant, you will likely work with patients in a dental office. Also, you will likely be responsible for completing lab tasks and assisting dentists.

This job is best suited for people with good communication and interpersonal skills. You should also have a strong sense of organization and technical efficiency. In many ways, dental assistants are the glue that holds the practice together.

Job duties for this position may vary based on state regulations. However, common daily tasks may include:

collecting and recording medical histories of patients
Measurement and recording of the patient's vital signs
Assisting the dentist with various treatments and procedures
Preparation of devices and instruments before a procedure, including sterilization
Creation of a pleasant atmosphere for patients before, during, and after treatment
Educate patients about oral care instructions after a procedure or surgery

The fact is, dental assistant responsibilities will change from practice to practice and from state to state. In some practices, dental assistants only work with patients. In others, they can help with office operations. Sometimes they are responsible for both.

When a dental assistant comes into the office in the morning, she can take care of tasks such as filing, making appointments and confirming calls. He then prepares examination and operating rooms, cleans, disinfects and sterilizes instruments.

When patients arrive, the dental assistant can greet them and take them to an exam room. A medical history can be taken, and then the assistant assists the dentist in operative procedures using four-handed dentistry. A dental assistant may remove stitches after dental surgery or apply an anesthetic to the gums before surgery. In some states, a dental hygienist may also apply anti-caries fluoride to the patient's teeth. After the treatment is completed, a dental assistant can educate the patient about the prescribed care.

One of the more interesting parts of a dental assistant's day can be taking and editing x-rays. This includes positioning the X-ray in the patient's mouth and, depending on the practice, developing the X-ray film or processing the digital X-ray. Some practices use digital X-rays and others use analog X-rays. Training programs can include instructions for using both methods.


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