Do you ever feel curious what a dental assistant (DA) does everyday? There are several duties that a DA will be responsible of, they are: patient care, laboratory duties and office duties. A DA will be assigned to different duties by the dentist everyday to learn all the skills needed to be a professional DA.
DA's duties are to ensure that the patients are comfortable in the dental chair, lead them to the treatment room, and arrange the dental records. Before any procedure in the treatment room, DA's need to sterilize and disinfect all the equipments and setup the tray with all the instruments for dental procedures later. During the procedures, DA's will hand the instruments and items as directed by the dentist. They will also keep the patients' mouth dry by suction equipment.
DA's will sometimes help in the removal of sutures, putting anesthetics to gums, isolating the patients' teeth by placing rubber dams, and removing surplus cement during the filling process. If given the opportunities, DA's will be assigned to prepare materials for making restorations and impressions and processing x-ray film. Of course, these can only be done under the supervision of a dentist.
For the DA's who work in the lab, they will need to make casts of teeth from impressions. Other than that, they will need to clean up and polish any removable appliances in the lab. They are also responsible in making temporary crowns too.
This will be more like working in the front desk and receptionist counter. DA's here carry out duties such as scheduling and confirming dentists' appointments, dealing with the walk-in patients, keeping dental records, sending bills, receiving payments. Being a caring DA, a DA will provide information about postoperative and some common oral health care to the patients. In addition, they also order dental supplies and materials for the dental office's usage.