“Dental assistants are vital members of the oral healthcare team who work with other dental healthcare professionals. Dental assistants facilitate the work of dentists and hygienists. They work at chairside by assisting the dentist with dental procedures. Dental assistants may expose radiographs and perform other intra-oral duties. They are responsible for infection control protocols within the office. They clean, disinfect & sterilize dental instruments and dental apparatuses.” – extracted from the Ontario Dental Assistant Association
Truly speaking, dental assistants are much more than that. They coordinate the clinical rooms for every appointment, setting up for each dental procedure and making sure the rooms are clean before the patient’s arrival.
Dental assistants should know about a dental procedure as much as the dentist. Understanding the procedure required for a patient and preparing the room and tools the dentist will need is one of the most important aspects of this profession.
Once the dental procedure is done, the dental assistants will help the patient to understand their next steps, and timeline for their next appointment.
But, not only that, they are also responsible for maintaining the Health and Safety protocols in place. They are the “police officers” at the sterilization centre, always making sure the dental instruments are clean, disinfected and sterilized.
Besides all the technical knowledge required for this profession, they also need to be very personable. Dealing with people’s fear, discomfort and anxiety is not an easy task. Let’s be honest: who likes to go to the dentist?
Next time you visit a dental office to take a dental impression using that “gluey material” and you feel like throwing up, be sure that the dental assistant is trying her best to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
As you can see, dental assistants play a very important role in a dental office. From coordinating appointments, assisting the dentist, making sure the dental instruments are sterilized to making patients feel comfortable and safe.
We celebrate the Dental Assistant Recognition Week from Mar 6 to Mar 12, 2022. Show your gratitude!
During your next dental appointment, don’t forget to say “THANK YOU” to them!
We are very thankful for our dental assistants at Iris Dentistry!