What Is A Dental Assistant?

People Are Commonly Confused about what the exact role of a dental assistant is. What does an assistant take care of vs. a dental hygienist, for example? We want to set the record straight! Our dental assistants are an invaluable part of our team and practice–to be honest, we couldn’t get much done without them!

Dental Assistants Are Specially Trained To Serve You

Our dental assistants are specially trained to serve YOU–our valued patients! And the best ones do it with a happy attitude and a genuine smile everytime they see you.

What education is required for Dental Assistants?

In Tennessee a dental assistant can earn a CDA or an RDA certification in dental assisting after 6 months to 2 years of school. They are then required to keep their education current by attending 12 hours of Continuing Education classes a year.

Dental Assistants can also get a certification which allows them to polish your teeth after the hygienist has completed your dental health screenings and removal of all the tartar from your teeth. Another certification called expanded duties allows them to fill teeth after the dentist has removed all the diseased tooth material.

What are the duties of a dental assistant?

In our practice it is our dental assistants that makes sure the work flow of the day goes smoothly. They do a little bit of everything and our dental practice couldn’t run with out them.  You will see them when they are escorting you back to the treatment room, taking your x-rays, making your impressions, maybe making your night guard or a temporary crown and sitting beside you during your dental procedures, assisting both the dentist and you through out the clinical appointment. They then coordinate your care from appointment to appointment either here in our practice or with a specialist you might need to visit.

What they do behind the scenes is just as important. They set up the treatment rooms before a procedure, then break them down and disinfect the room after the procedure is completed.  They clean and sterilize all the instruments and equipment used during a procedure. They also complete most of the in-house lab work needed for your care and they coordinate between the outside dental laboratories and the office, making sure everything gets to the lab and back before your next appointment.

And finally I have to mention what I think is their  most important function is to act as a translator when the dentist goes into dental geek mode and uses what sounds like a foreign language to explain your dental problem or solution. So don’t hesitate to ask our assistants about your care or anything you don’t understand, they’ll be happy to help.

There is old joke about dental assistants being professional spit suckers but as you can see they are so much more. Now you know – dental assistants are a vital part of any dental practice.

Our Patients Are Our Priority

Our priority is providing the highest quality of care to our patients. And we couldn’t do it without the amazing dental assistants in our office! Do you have any questions for our assistants? Let us know in the comments below! Visit TLC Dental Care to know more.

As always, thank you for choosing our practice. We love our patients!

Plaque vs. Tartar: What’s The Difference?

We Often Get The Question from our patients, “What’s the difference between plaque and tartar?” Many people think they are the same thing. There is an important difference between the two, however, and it can help explain just why a daily oral hygiene routine is so crucial, as well as twice-yearly visits to your dentist.

What Is Plaque?

Dental plaque is that soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and under your gums throughout the day. And guess what? It contains millions of bacteria! When you eat—especially carbohydrates or sugar—you’re not the only one getting a meal, so are the bacteria on your teeth. After “eating,” these bacteria produce acids that erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities.

That’s why good daily oral hygiene is essential to preventing tooth decay and protecting your smile from the bacteria in plaque. To prevent plaque buildup, remember to brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. Drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can also help!

What Is Tartar?

So if that’s plaque, what’s tartar? Tartar is what accumulates on your teeth when plaque is not removed. If plaque is left on your teeth for too long, it will harden into tartar and is much more difficult to remove. In fact, tartar can only be removed by a dental professional–you can’t get rid of it with regular brushing and flossing. Tartar removal is one of the reasons that visiting your dentist every six months is so important!

Plaque buildup that hardens into tartar can cause more than just cavities. It can cause tooth discoloration and sensitivity as well as gum recession and periodontal disease. To reduce plaque buildup and tartar from forming, make sure you are brushing and flossing daily.

Come And See Us Every Six Months

No matter how great your oral hygiene is, plaque and tartar formation are inevitable. So come in to see us every six months! Our job is to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile that’s plaque- and tarter-free! Visit TLC Dental Care to know more.

Thank you for your trust and loyalty.

Protect Your Gum Health With Perio Protect®

Recent Studies Show nearly half of all adults have some degree of gum disease. Although some periodontal treatments can be invasive or ineffective, The Perio Tray® by Perio Protect® is a simple treatment that reaches where your toothbrush, floss and mouthrinse can’t.

Perio Protect Treats Gum Disease Between Visits

Perio Protect is a comprehensive periodontal treatment approach that combines professional cleanings with effective, at-home treatment. The Perio Tray is similar to a mouthguard but it has a special sealing system to deliver medication below the gum line. You simply put the medication in the tray and wear it for a few minutes a day between office visits—it’s that easy.

Not only is this approach easy to use, it treats the bacteria causing your gum disease in a comfortable way, minimizing the need for surgery and antibiotics.

Better Results Than Office Visits Alone

Bacteria reproduce quickly under the gums, making it difficult to control between office visits. Research shows that when professional cleanings are combined with Perio Tray delivery of hydrogen peroxide gel, patients get better results than the cleanings alone. The Perio Tray is designed specifically to combat bacteria and supplement in-office treatment, helping you keep gum disease under control.

Other Benefits to Using Perio Protect

Peroxide is the active ingredient in Perio Protect and it’s the same for tooth whitening gels.  That means that your teeth will whiten the longer you use it to keep your gums healthy.  Also, bad breath is a common problem, especially if your gums are infected.  It’s because bacterial by-products are stinky and it is those by products that accumulate under the gums making a toxic smelly soup (or if you want to get technical it’s called a biofilm).  The peroxide in the Perio Protect gel fills the area under the gums with oxygen and that cleans it out, which means the stinky molecules get cleaned out too.   So with Perio Protect you get healthy gums, whiter teeth and fresher breath – win, win, win!

We Want To Protect Your Smile’s Foundation

Caring for your gums is crucial to your oral and overall health. If you have any questions about how Perio Protect can benefit you, give us a call to set an appointment or reach out to us on social media! We’d love to answer any questions you might have. Visit TLC Dental Care to know more.

Thank you for placing your trust in our practice. We love our patients!

865-247-5570 Request Appointment