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How Dental Assistants Keep the Office Running Smoothly

December 17, 2013 General, Health Care 0 Comments

The Role of Dental AssistantsThe primary responsibility of dental assistants is to help dentists to operate more efficiently. On one hand, they are part of the dental care team that offers essential support services and assistance to dentists, allowing them to deliver quality oral health care. On the other hand, they carry out a variety of functions are aimed at ensuring that the business and administrative aspects of the dental practice run smoothly. Take a look at their responsibilities below.

1.    Administrative Tasks

Dental assistants are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the day-to-day operations within the practice run smoothly at all times. Some of the tasks they carry out include:
  • Office management tasks – They help manage the daily affairs of the dental practice. As such, they are responsible for the various office tasks such as billing, telephone management, record keeping, and appointment scheduling.
  • Procurement – Dental assistants are responsible for communicating with suppliers and ordering supplies.
  • Patient communication – They serve as the main contact between the dental practice and patients. As such, they are the ones to greet patients as they come in, seat patients in the waiting area, take the patients' medical histories and more.
  • Managing business operations – Dental assistants are responsible for handling the business side of the dental practice, which includes money management, accounting, and bookkeeping.
  • Records management – These professionals manage recall systems, filing, and patient records.

2.    Support Services

Dental assistants offer direct assistance to dentists when attending to patients. Some of the responsibilities include:
  • Offering direct chair-side assistance to the dentist during orthodontic, oral surgery, operative, and other dental procedures.
  • Preparing patients for dental procedures, especially when it comes to ensuring that patients are comfortable before, during, and after treatment.
  • Sterilizing and preparing instruments, as well as assisting the dentist with implementing and documenting up-to-date infection control standards.
  • Offering patients dietary counseling and advice on preventive dentistry.
  • Handling a variety of laboratory functions such as fabrication of temporary crowns and bridges, construction of custom trays, as well as pouring & trimming casts/models. 
  • Handling the application of fluoride and sealants, and polishing clinical crowns
  • Taking, exposing, and developing x-rays (dental radiographs)
  • Taking teeth impressions for study casts
Learn more about dental assisting if you’re interested in the field of dentistry.

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