Dental assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental care team. If you have strong communication skills, enjoy working with your hands as well as your mind and want a career with responsibility, dental assisting is for you.
The duties of a dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. The dental assistant performs many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills.
Although state regulations vary, responsibilities may include:
• assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures
• taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays)
• performing mechanical polishing to clinical crowns
• helping to provide direct patient care in all dental specialties, including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and oral surgery
• providing patients with instructions for oral care following surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the placement of a restoration (filling)
• taking the patient's medical history and taking blood pressure and pulse
• taking impressions of patients' teeth for study casts (models of teeth)
• communicating with patients and suppliers (e.g., scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, billing and ordering supplies)
• serving as an infection control officer, developing infection control protocol and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment
• teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health; (e.g., toothbrushing, flossing and nutritional counseling)
• performing office management tasks that require the use of a personal computer with dental software programs http://www.dentalboard.state.mn.us Select licensing, and then delegated duties. To view all Minnesota expanded functions.