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The Description Of The Dental Assistants

A dental assistant can be viewed as an extra set of hands for the dentist or dental surgeon. Anyone performing this role in a dental clinic will find that the role will offer them a wide variety of duties that are challenging and provide them with dynamic and invigorating work. This article will discuss the requirements of a dental assistant and what duties they may be expected to perform.

The chief requirement of this role is that the assistant possess excellent “chair assisting skills”. This means that they need to be able to: prepare and maintain dental instruments, supplies and equipment; collect and record patients’ health histories; manage patients during dental procedures; swiftly transfer required instruments from the tray to the dentist; prepare dental materials such as composites, amalgams and cements; know and use dental procedure isolation techniques; handle dental charts; prevent and manage dental emergencies; manage and control dental inventory.

An assistant may also be required to perform ‘expanded functions’ which may involve duties such as: placing and removing rubber dams, matrices and wedges; applying cavity liners and bases; placing, condensing, carving and contouring amalgam restorations; and placing and finishing composite resin restorations, including sealant material.

On top of these duties, dental assistants are also expected to carry out duties in laboratory. They will perform duties such as making casts of the teeth, cleaning appliances and making crowns. In regard to clerical responsibilities, dental assistants are expected to perform tasks such as taking appointments, maintaining records of treatment and ordering materials like dental root elevators.

Of particular concern regarding the duties of a dental assistant is that of expanded functions. These duties differ depending upon local dental regulations. The duties listed under expanded functions ought to be performed under the supervision of a dentist. Expanded functions are functions which are not traditionally performed by dental assistants. In fact, they are forbidden to perform some of these duties.

Is this a lucrative job? This depends in part to the location one works in. Working in large cities almost always guarantees a higher pay. Besides this, a higher pay can be expected if a formal training has been obtained. In general, the median hourly pay is $13.62. Aside from salary, they can obtain such benefits as health insurance and discounted charge on dental procedures. If the dental office is doing well, one may even get unexpected bonuses.

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