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What Does A Dental Assistant Do?

Western Community College > Blog > Health Care > What Does A Dental Assistant Do?

Have you ever wondered who assists the dentist during your regular dental check-ups? The answer is a dental assistant! 

Dental assistants are vital members of the dental team who work closely with dentists, hygienists, and other dental professionals to provide quality oral care to patients. 

Their duties go beyond just handing instruments to the dentist. In this article, we’ll explore what does a dental assistant do, the skills they need to be successful in their roles, and how they contribute to the overall success of a dental practice. So, stay in the loop!

What is a dental assistant?

A dental assistant is a trained healthcare professional who works alongside dentists and other dental professionals to provide patient care and perform administrative tasks in a dental office. 

They work closely with dentists and other dental team members to ensure that patients receive high-quality care and have a positive experience at the dental office. 

What are the duties of a dental assistant?

The duties of a dental assistant include:

  • Preparing dental equipment and instruments for procedures
  • Assisting the dentist during dental procedures, including passing instruments and suctioning the patient’s mouth
  • Sterilizing and disinfecting dental instruments and equipment
  • Taking and processing dental X-rays
  • Managing patient records and keeping track of treatment plans
  • Educating patients on oral hygiene and postoperative care
  • Conducting basic laboratory tests such as mixing dental materials and pouring dental models
  • Performing administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing patient accounts,  and ordering supplies
  • Ensuring that patients are comfortable and at ease during their visit
  • Adhering to safety and infection control protocols to maintain a clean and sterile environment.

Skills required to become a dental assistant

To become a successful dental assistant, there are several skills that are essential. These include:

  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Technical Skills
  • Attention to Detail
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Physical Stamina

By developing these skills, dental assistants can provide high-quality care and support to patients and contribute to a positive and efficient dental office environment.

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Is it hard to become a dental assistant?

The process of becoming a dental assistant in Canada can depend on the province or territory in which you wish to work. 

In some provinces, such as Ontario and Manitoba, dental assistants are required to be registered with a regulatory body and hold a valid certificate or license. In other provinces, such as British Columbia, certification is voluntary but can provide a competitive advantage in the job market.

The process of completing a dental assisting program and obtaining certification or licensure can be challenging, but with dedication and hard work, it is achievable. Many dental assisting programs in Canada offer flexible scheduling options and online courses to accommodate students’ busy schedules.

It is also important to note that the job market for dental assistants in Canada can vary by region and by the level of education and experience of the job seeker. Some regions may have a higher demand for dental assistants, while others may have a more competitive job market.

Benefits of becoming a dental assistant

Becoming a dental assistant can provide several benefits, both personal and professional. Here are some of the advantages of pursuing a career as a dental assistant:

  • Job Security
  • Shorter Training Period
  • Opportunities for Advancement
  • Flexibility
  • Helping People
  • Competitive Salary and Benefits

Therefore, becoming a dental assistant can provide a fulfilling career with opportunities for growth, stability, and a competitive salary and benefits package.

How to become a dental assistant?

To become a dental assistant, there are several steps you can take:

  • Obtain a High School Diploma or GED:
  • Research Dental Assistant Programs
  • Complete a Dental Assistant Program
  • Obtain Certification or Licensure
  • Gain Experience:
  • Apply for Jobs 

Conclusion

To sum up, dental assistants play a crucial role in ensuring that dental offices run smoothly and efficiently. They provide essential support to the dental team, helping to ensure that patients receive the highest level of care possible and are an integral part of any successful dental practice. 

Hence, If you’re considering a career as a dental assistant, you can look forward to a challenging and rewarding job that allows you to make a positive impact on patients’ lives.

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