Dental Assistants play a very important role in the dental office. The Dental Assistant often works along side the Dentist during patient examinations and procedures to assist her or him in the process. If you have had a dental examination or procedures performed by a Dentist, in most cases, a Dental Assistant was working “chairside” to assist the Dentist.
Chairside Assisting refers to any operation that a Dental Assistant performs to assist the Dentist during a dental examination or procedure. Chairside Assisting can also be called, “Four-Handed Dentistry,” which refers to the Dentist’s two hands and the Dental Assistant’s two hands (totals to four hands), or “Six-Handed Dentistry”, which incorporates the Dentist, plus two Dental Assistants (totals to six hands). The Dental Assistant, who works chairside with the Dentist, assists in the processes to ensure that procedures and examinations are completed efficiently.
Examples of Chairside Assisting duties performed by a Dental Assistant include:
- Preparing trays for procedures
- Handing equipment, materials and instruments to the Dentist
- Applying the suction tool in order to keep the patients mouth dry and clear
- Tending to the patient during dental procedures, while keeping the patient calm and comfortable
The Dental Assistant performs many duties to help the dental office run smoothly, including clinical back office and administrative front office. In addition to Chairside Assisting, a Dental Assistant’s additional responsibilities include:
- Sterilizing dental tools and equipment
- Performing X-rays, suture removal, and constructing temporary crowns and bridges
- Providing patients with postoperative instructions and general oral health information
- Preparing fillings and compounds for restorations
- Creating, forming, and polishing crowns, temporaries, and dentures
- Charting dental histories and any new conditions/symptoms
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Billing and processing insurance information for patients
- Processing payments
If you enjoy working with people and the healthcare field interests you, a career as a Dental Assistant could be for you. You may be wondering, how to become a Dental Assistant? Arizona College offers an exciting Dental Assisting program with hands-on training in our modern laboratories and sessions that start every 5 weeks. Arizona College has two conveniently located campuses in Glendale and Mesa. Contact Arizona College today to learn more about your future as a Dental Assistant.