Taking a Closer Look Into the Life of a Dental Assistant

a dentist and dental assistant performing work on a female patient

While enrolled in a hands-on dental assisting program, you’re learning about the ins and outs of your future role in dentistry. This likely includes studying the terminology, understanding how to effectively clean and sterilize dental instruments and equipment, and honing your skills to ensure patients feel comfortable, safe, and at ease while talking to you. Amid all the studying and hands-on practice, it’s always nice to hear from someone with real-world experience. As you continue your pursuit to become a dental assistant, spend a few minutes taking a closer look into what a professional DA experiences day-in and day-out.

Starting the Day

It is necessary for a dental assistant to arrive to work well before the office opens to patients. Why? Because you will need to prep the treatment rooms for those with early appointments. This includes gathering the medical records of individuals arriving shortly after opening, making sure all instruments are thoroughly sterilized and rooms are cleaned, and setting up the procedure room with any instruments or materials the dentist might need.

From Mid-Morning Through Lunch

As you progress throughout the day, you will find yourself greeting patients, escorting them to treatment rooms, and helping them to prepare for their upcoming exam. From providing them with a bib and protective eyewear to discussing their medical history and updating their records, you will ensure they are comfortable before moving on to assist the dentist and/or hygienist. Once treatment is complete, you will go over payment options with the patient, at-home tips for improved oral hygiene, and even help them find a convenient time for their next appointment.

While lunch might feel like a time to relax, it’s usually spent making sure everyone gets adequate time to step away and grab a bite to eat, so you likely won’t be eating with your fellow assistants. Before you leave for lunch, you’ll need to sterilize all instruments and equipment, too.

Post-Lunch Afternoon

Throughout the remainder of the day, you can expect to perform a wide array of services, including:

  • Taking dental X-Rays for the dentist to review
  • Assisting with general checkups and cleanings as well as helping to fill cavities by applying topical anesthetic and rinsing out the patient’s mouth when instructed
  • Taking down any notes the dentist might have about various issues a patient may be experiencing as well as noting any concerns the individual expresses

Before You Leave

At the end of the day, much of your responsibilities will find you helping administrative staff with everything from processing invoices and payments to confirming appointments with future patients. You’ll also be responsible for restocking treatment rooms with necessary supplies and materials for the office.

There’s never a dull moment as a dental assistant, and you can expect each day to look different from the last.

About Dental Assistant Pro
For more than 25 years, Dental Assistant Pro has been providing aspiring dental assistants with essential knowledge and hands-on skills learning. Our philosophy is the best dental assisting training should be taught in a dental office at an affordable cost, so why not take a chance and enroll in our 10-week course schedule? It’s now more affordable than ever to become a dental assistant! To learn more about our available dental assisting classes, visit our website or call (513) 515-6611.