23 May What Duties Are Performed By A Dental Assistant?
We all are familiar with the dentists and the work they do. We have heard a lot about them especially by our parents when we used to listen to different tooth fairy stories during our childhood. The dentists are playing very important role in healthcare profession, although they do not perform the major surgeries very often but most of us understand how do we feel when we have a tooth ache? Or when we go for the fillings? To take the work load off from the dentists, there are the dental assistants that help them to run their office smooth by handling the both office administrative and clinical responsibilities. We should not confuse the dental assistants with dental hygienists, because they are licensed to carry out other responsibilities as well.
While working about the office administration, the dentist assistants make phone calls for the confirmation of appointments; they also maintain the patient’s history. Besides this, they also keep the patient’s medical record, receive payments and manage the dental materials and instruments as per the requirements. On the clinical side, a dental assistant cleans and monitors the medical equipment. They also sterilize the instruments required for the patient on the dental chair. They explain the treatment procedure and make patients comfortable on the dental chair. They also create temporary crowns, and dispose the contaminated material inside the mouth.
To become an assistant dental, high school students must take subjects like biology, office practice, healthcare and chemistry. Becoming an Entry Level dental assistant in many States does not require trainings and formal education. But in 2009 the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) has approved 281 dental- assisting training programs. Most of the programs are for one year which leads to the certificate or diploma level, and two years programs lead to associate degree. These programs also help students to improve their skills by getting theoretical knowledge in the class room and also in laboratory and some clinical work to improve their skills in dental assisting. There are some private vocational schools offering 4-6 month courses on dental assisting, however these course are not accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Mostly these assistants learn and improve their skills while working and from their experiences. Initially they learn the procedures, instruments names, daily routine work methods, patient relationship, and necessary office duties to run office smoothly. It depends on the individual. How quick they can learn about their duties; however it may take few months to start working without any assistance.
There is no requirement of the certification for job purposes; however some US States require the license or the certificate to perform the radiology methods within dentist’s office. To become a certified dental assistant, you need to pass the exam administrated by DANB. The requirements for the exam is that the candidate must graduate a dental assisting program accredited from CODA or must have 2 years full time experience or 4 years part time experience. You will become a CDA Certified Dental assistant after passing the exam and this will open the new future doors for you. By getting the certification you can work in big dental organisations as well.