What does a Dental Assistant do?

what does a dental assistant do

When we think of taking care of our teeth, we may only think of the hygienist or dentist who examines and cleans our teeth. However, there is also a crucial role played by a dental assistant in helping dentists perform their duties efficiently and smoothly.

Dental assistants play an essential role in any dental practice. They provide support to the dentist and the dental office by performing a variety of tasks ranging from assisting with patient care to administrative responsibilities. But what does a dental assistant do exactly? In this blog, we will explore what a dental assistant does on a daily basis, their duties and responsibilities.

Learn more about Dental Assistant training at Dorsey College!

What a Dental Assistant Does on a Daily Basis

A dental assistant is a person who assists the dentists and dental hygienists with various tasks, and they are an essential part of any dental healthcare team. Dental assistants can find themselves on the move all day or frequently moving from front desk work to helping patients get comfortable and prepare them for procedures.

They perform a wide range of tasks to help dentists and hygienists maintain a high level of patient care. A dental assistant’s daily duties may vary depending on the size of the dental practice and the number of patients they see.

Dental assistants must have excellent communication skills, be knowledgeable about dental procedures and techniques, and have a keen eye for detail to ensure that every patient receives the best possible care. They are an integral part of the dental healthcare team, and their contributions help to ensure that dental patients receive quality care in a comfortable and safe environment.

Dental Assistant Duties

Dental assistants are responsible for a range of duties. In a workday, a dental assistant may perform the following tasks:

1.Preparing the dental room: Before a dental procedure, a dental assistant may be responsible for preparing the dental room.

2. Assisting the dentist: During a dental procedure, a dental assistant may assist the dentist. They hand over the necessary tools and equipment to the dentist and suction any saliva or water from the patient’s mouth. They also take X-rays if necessary.

3. Maintaining records: A dental assistant also maintains records of patients. They record the patient’s medical history, details of the dental procedure performed, and any follow-up appointments required.

4. Administrative tasks: Finally, a dental assistant may perform some administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, billing, and ordering dental supplies.

With the wide range of responsibilities and duties a dental assistant’s day is never boring!

Skills that Make Good Dental Assistants!

Being a dental assistant requires a specific set of skills, not only technical skills which you can learn through a training program but also soft skills. It takes attention to detail, strong communication skills, and empathy just to name a few. They must be able to work efficiently and adapt to a fast-paced environment, while providing compassionate care to patients.

Many patients feel anxious or nervous during dental procedures, so being able to empathize and comfort them is critical. Being a Dental assistant means you’re working with Dentists, dental hygienists and other dental assistants. Dental assistants who can work well in a team environment, have a positive attitude, and approach challenges with a solutions-based mindset can find much success in their role.

If you’re worried about any of the skills above, don’t be. Enrolling in a training program can help you not only learn the technical skills needed, but also help you hone your soft skills. If you’re committed to pursuing a career as a dental assistant, this is something you can do!

Explore Dental Assistant Training at Dorsey College!

Now that you know If you are interested in becoming a dental assistant, Dorsey College offers a training program that prepares students for entry-level positions. The program covers essential topics that will give you the exposure to technical skills needed to enter into the dental assistant career and a chance to practice some of the soft skills needed. On top of classroom training, you can also have the opportunity to participate in an externship to put your learned skills to practice in a real world setting. If you’re interested in pursuing a dental assistant career in Detroit, MI or the surrounding area; learn more about our Dental assistant program today!

Dorsey College is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. This applies to the Dearborn, Roseville, and Woodhaven campuses (which are branch campus locations of Madison Heights).

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NOTE: The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Michigan Board of Dentistry are responsible for the licensing of individuals who want to practice dentistry, dental hygiene and advanced levels of dental assisting. Students attending a dental assisting program offered by a private college that is not accredited by the American Dental Association are not eligible for licensure in the State of Michigan. Dorsey College is classified as a private college and is not accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation; graduates of this program are not eligible for licensure as a Registered Dental Assistant in Michigan. However, graduates of this program may challenge a certification exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. after completing 3,500 hours of dental work experience. Dorsey’s Dental Assistant Program includes the opportunity to sit for the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and the Infection Control (ICE) certification exams, which are two components of the Dental Assisting national Board (“DANB”) Certified Dental Assistant (“CDA”) exam. Graduates of this program may complete the third exam component necessary for DANB’s CDA credential, which is challenged after completing “a minimum of 3,500 hours’ work experience as a dental assistant, accrued over a period of at least two years (24 months, if employed fulltime) to a maximum of four years (48 months, if employed part-time) which employment must be verified by a licensed dentist.