Basic Dental Assistant
Basic Dental Assistant
A Basic Dental Assistant is responsible for assisting the dentist with routine dental procedures, such as cleanings and fillings. They also help with patient care, record-keeping, and office management tasks.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Preparing the patient for dental procedures, such as seating them in the dental chair and getting their medical history.
- Assisting the dentist during dental procedures, such as passing instruments, suctioning fluids, and adjusting the patient’s chair or headrest.
- Sterilizing dental instruments and equipment to prevent the spread of infection.
- Taking dental X-rays and developing them for the dentist to review.
- Maintaining accurate patient records, including medical history, treatment plans, and progress notes.
- Managing office administrative tasks, such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, and managing patient files.
- Educating patients on proper oral hygiene practices and post-operative care.
- Ordering and maintaining dental supplies and equipment inventory.
- Maintaining a clean and organized treatment room and work area.
- Providing assistance to the dentist and other members of the dental team as needed.
Skills and Qualifications
- High school diploma or equivalent.
- Completion of a dental assistant training program or on-the-job training.
- Knowledge of dental procedures, instruments, and terminology.
- Proficiency in sterilization techniques and infection control procedures.
- Good communication and interpersonal skills.
- Strong attention to detail and organizational skills.
- Ability to work effectively as part of a team.
- Computer skills for managing electronic patient records and scheduling appointments.
Certification and Licensure
Some states may require certification or registration as a dental assistant. The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) offers certification for dental assistants who have completed an accredited program or have equivalent work experience. Additionally, some states may require licensure or registration with the state dental board.
Job Outlook and Salary: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for dental assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual salary for dental assistants was $41,180 as of May 2020.