The Truth About Dental Assistants: What You Need to Know

a young, female dental assistant smiles while a dentist examines a male patient in the background

If you are enrolled in a dental assisting school, you’re probably quite busy learning about correct terminology, job responsibilities, and ways to improve the patient experience. But what you may not realize is how important your role is in a dental office. While it’s necessary for dentists to invest their money in equipment, training, and updated technology, it’s even more important for them to employ a team of highly-skilled professionals. Read on to learn the truths about dental assistants and what you can expect when preparing for your future career.

You’ll Want to Pursue Additional Certifications and Education

As a dental assistant, your learning doesn’t stop once you complete a dental assisting program. Instead, you’ll want to find an employer who encourages and offers opportunities to expand your skills and knowledge. Not only will these additional certifications and training look good on your resume, but you’ll be better equipped to take care of patients, embrace new opportunities, and feel more important in your role as a dental assistant.

You’ll Be Doing More Than You Think in a Dental Office

Will you be sterilizing instruments? Yes. Will you be helping keep patients calm before seeing the dentist? Yes. Are there many other job responsibilities involved with this position? Absolutely. Although these duties vary among different states, the most common ones include:

  • Disinfecting dental instruments and ensuring infection control
  • Educating patients about their treatment (all stages)
  • Exposing dental radiographic images
  • Assisting the dental team to ensure productivity and efficiency

You’ll Be Multitasking

While much of your day will be assisting the dentist and dental hygienist, your responsibilities will go beyond the role of an “assistant.” You’ll need to be able to multitask and step in to help with check-in and check-out, if necessary. You may also be asked to take inventory of products within the dental office and make sure everything is properly stocked and prepped for the day’s appointments.

You’ll Make the Patient Experience More Enjoyable

From increasing productivity among dentists and dental staff to ensuring optimal patient care, your role extends far beyond the realm of the “normal daily tasks.” By providing dentists with the tools they need, you can keep appointments moving along smoothly, effectively decreasing wait times for those in the lobby. Also, your ability to ease a patient’s nerves and walk them through their upcoming treatment plan will make for a more enjoyable and stress-free experience.

Never dismiss the important role dental assistants play in the field of dentistry. After all, it is you who will make a dramatic difference in patient retention, treatment plan acceptance, and dental practice efficiency.

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. We offer a class-based instructional program that combines real-life experience in a dental office with lectures and time spent in operatory treatment rooms. To learn more about us, visit our website or call (513) 515-6611.