What Do Dental Assistants Do?

  • Dental Assistant
  • March 12, 2024
  • 6 min read
What Do Dental Assistants Do

Are you considering a career in the dental field? If so, you may have heard of dental assistants. But what exactly do they do?

As it turns out, the role of a dental assistant is vital—they support dentists alongside other team members, including hygienists and reception staff. In this blog post, we’ll explore more about the tasks and duties undertaken by this vital part of any successful practice.

We will discuss why becoming a dental assistant could be an excellent choice for students interested in starting their careers in healthcare!

Read More: What is a Dental Assistant With Expanded Functions?

Overview of Dental Assisting – Definition and Role in the Dental Office

Dental assisting is a critical element of dental clinics worldwide, supporting the dental team and ensuring patients receive the best possible dental care.

Dental assistants are the backbone of the dental office, performing various duties ranging from patient intake and scheduling appointments to assisting the dentist during procedures and educating patients on proper oral hygiene practices.

Without dental assistants, the dental office would be chaotic, and patients would not receive the exceptional service they deserve. These individuals typically possess excellent communication skills, can multitask efficiently, and uphold high standards of professionalism.

Ultimately, a career in dental assisting presents a rewarding opportunity for individuals who enjoy helping others and working in a fast-paced environment.

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Dental Assistant

Becoming a dental assistant requires a unique blend of technical and interpersonal skills. You’ll need to be skilled in various clinical tasks, such as preparing patients for procedures, taking dental X-rays, and educating patients about oral hygiene.

But being a dental assistant is much more than just performing clinical duties. You’ll also play a key role in creating a welcoming and comfortable patient environment. This means you’ll need to have excellent communication and customer service skills and the ability to work well as part of a team.

Becoming a dental assistant might be the perfect fit if you’re passionate about helping others and interested in a career in oral healthcare.

Preparing Patients for Procedures and Assisting the Dentist During Procedures

Preparing patients for procedures and assisting the dentist during procedures are two crucial responsibilities that dental assistants carry out daily. While patients may feel uneasy about the dental procedures they are about to undergo, it is the dental assistant’s job to ensure they are as comfortable and informed as possible.

This includes explaining the procedure and the tools used, answering any patient questions, and administering local anesthesia if needed. During the process, dental assistants play a critical role in supporting the dentist, passing tools, and suctioning away excess saliva and fluids. Their ability to work cohesively with the dentist helps to ensure a successful procedure and a positive experience for the patient.

Overall, the dental assistant’s role in preparing and assisting during procedures is vital to ensuring quality dental care.

Maintaining Patient Records and Post-Procedure Care

When it comes to healthcare, maintaining patient records and providing post-procedure care are both critical components. Patient records serve as a vital source of information for healthcare professionals, outlining a patient’s medical history, allergies, and prior procedures.

Ensuring these records are complete, accurate, and up-to-date is essential for quality care. Equally important is the care patients receive after a procedure. Proper post-procedure care can help prevent infections, manage pain, and promote healing.

Dental assistants can help ensure their patients’ well-being and provide the best possible outcomes by staying vigilant about record-keeping and post-procedure care.

Sterilization Techniques and Performing Minor Auxiliary Treatments

Sterilization techniques and minor auxiliary treatments are vital aspects of any dental environment. These techniques ensure patients receive safe and effective treatment when they need it the most.

Dental practitioners must adhere to strict protocols to sanitize instruments, equipment, and surfaces. Dental assistants must demonstrate the proper use of sterilization and cleaning equipment, such as autoclaves, Ultrasonic cleaners, and cold sterilants.

With these skills, dental professionals can ensure that patients receive the best care possible, free from infection and with the added comfort of knowing they are in capable hands.

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Working with Insurance Companies and Managing Payment Systems

Working with insurance companies and managing payment systems can be a complex and overwhelming process for dental care providers.

However, it is a necessary part of the healthcare industry to ensure patients receive the care they need while keeping providers financially stable. From negotiating contracts with insurance companies to understanding billing codes and regulations, managing payment systems requires attention to detail and a deep understanding of the healthcare landscape.

Despite the challenges, successfully navigating the world of insurance reimbursement can positively impact patient outcomes and the bottom line for providers. 

Dental assistants, in particular, can significantly impact the efficiency of insurance reimbursement processes. They often act as the primary point of contact between dental practices and insurance companies, processing claims and following up on unpaid or underpaid claims to ensure proper payment is received.

Anyone interested in a career as a dental assistant should ask themselves, “Do I possess a strong aptitude for learning these skills” or “Do I want to pursue additional training.”

If you’re entirely new to this field or looking to enhance your skills, Northwest Career College can help you get your foot in the door — or through any doors — with our Dental Assisting Program. Our program combines classroom learning with hands-on experience to fully prepare our students for the workforce. Contact us today about taking your first steps toward becoming a dental assistant!

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Join one of the best Dental Assistant training schools in Vegas

Here at Northwest Career College, we firmly believe that learning is a process that continues on the job. 

Our Dental Assistant School gives you all the critical skills and experience you’ll need to find the best dental assisting employment opportunity in Las Vegas. 

Our Dental Assistant School offers morning, afternoon, and night classes to accommodate your busy work and family schedule. 

Our established, seasoned instructors have helped our students achieve a 91% national exam pass rate. Call us at (702) 403-1592 to speak to one of our admissions assistants about your new dental assisting career.

Jessica Vazquez
Dental Assistant Program Chair

Originally from Southern California, Jessica moved to Las Vegas with her family before she found both a job as part of our Dental Assisting Team and her husband here. Jessica attended Sylmar HS in California and then Charter College for…Read Full Bio