Dental Assistant

Job Description Dental Assistant

A dental assistant works in a dental clinic or office, assisting dentists to treat patients with a variety of oral healthcare issues. A dental assistant is different from a dental hygienist, who can treat patients one-on-one for certain issues. Dental assistants work exclusively with a dentist to performing cleanings, check-ups and other treatments. They can be employed in private dental practices and clinics, and public health units. Dental assistants are still required to undertake specialized training and receive certification, but the educational requirements are not as extensive those for dentists or orthodontists. It is an accessible and affordable way for many people to build a sustainable career in the dental and health care industry.

5 Requirements to be Dental Assistant

  1. Graduate from a dental assisting program at an accredited college-level institute
  2. Pass an exam administered by the National Dental Assisting Examination Board
  3. Be certified by the Ontario Dental Assistants Association
  4. Follow all regulations covering safe conduct and proper treatment
  5. Possess strong interpersonal skills and be able to pay close attention to all details

What does a Dental Assistant do ?

A dental assistant, as the name implies, spends a large portion of their day assisting the dentist to treat patients in private clinics or public health units. They play an important role in the process, prepping the instruments, handing the proper tools to the dentists, and cleaning-up after every appointment. One of the most important tasks of a dental assistant to sterilize the dental instruments and the treatment area, as maintaining a clean environment is vital. A dental assistant will also likely has administrative responsibilities, ensuring that records are updated and stay organized.

  • Disinfecting dental instruments and prepping the treatment area
  • Screening patients, including asking questions about any dental issues
  • Taking x-rays and other diagnostic images
  • Working with the dentist to perform cleanings and other treatments
  • Placing special requests for any materials needed for certain treatments
  • Checking supplies and ordering replacements
  • Updating patient records and properly filing reports
  • Instructing patients on proper dental care techniques
  • Completing additional administrative responsibilities depending on the clinic

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