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!
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.
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 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!