Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office, and laboratory duties.
- Work alongside the dentist to provide assistance.
- Handing instruments and materials to the dentist.
- Sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment.
- Prepare the instruments and materials required to treat each patient.
- Make patients comfortable in the dental chair and prepare them for treatment.
- Keep patients' mouths dry and clear by using suction hoses or other devices.
- Prepare materials for impressions and restorations.
- Process dental x rays as directed by a dentist.
- Clean & polish removable appliances, make temporary crowns.
The following subjects are covered in depth from both a didactic and a practical clinical experience.
I. Dental Theory and Terminology
A. Dental and oral anatomy, tooth identification and numbering system
B. Instrument nomenclature and identification for all aspects of General Dentistry
C. Dental terminology
D. Equipment operation, chair positioning, assistant equipment usage
E. Treatment options available, depending on oral conditions
II. Receptionist - Front Desk Office Management
A. Phone techniques and appointment book control
B. Billing: accounts receivable and accounts payable, collections
C. Filing insurance forms and pre-treatment estimates
D. Insurance terminology
III. Four-Handed Dental Assisting
A. Instrument transfer techniques, chair-side assisting and patient suctioning
B. Chair-side doctor-patient-assistant positioning
C. Tub and tray systems of instruments and materials
D. Familiarity and use of instruments and materials in assisting for:
1. Operative Dentistry-amalgam and composite restorations
2. Crown and Bridge - polyvinyl "gun type" impression taking, temporary fabrication, cord packing, hemostatic agents, introduction into various crown types
3. Endodontics - instruments, medicaments and materials: how and why they are used
4. Periodontics - disease origin and usual treatment methods
5. Pedodontics - commonalty and differences in treating children vs. adult patients
A. X-ray theory and technique, use of Rinn© holders and other methods
B. Intraoral, bitewing, panoramic, and endodontic exposure methods
C. Developing x-rays using the automatic processor
D. Darkroom care and maintenance
E. X-ray identification, interpretation, safety and precautions
V. Impressions and Model Trimming
A. Impression materials and practice in their uses: alginates, poly vinyl siloxane, etc.
B. Wax bites, counter impressions,
C. Model pouring and trimming
VI. Cements and Liners
A. Introduction to various cements and liners used in dentistry
B. Practice mixing cements and liners
VII. Sterilization Techniques
A. Sterilization theory and terminology, autoclave operation
B. Instrument and equipment sterilization / disinfection
C. Treatment room disinfection and asepsis techniques
D. Handpiece care and maintenance
VIII. Job Interview Assistance
A. Proper image, dress, resume, and how to prepare for the job interview itself
B. Difficult questions you may face - how to answer them
C. Do's and don'ts during the interview, what to expect.