Dental assistants prepare patients for oral examination and assist other dental workers, such as dentists, dental therapists and dental hygienists, in providing treatment to the teeth, mouth and gums. Dental assistants also carry out reception and administration duties.
Duties & Tasks
Dental assistants may perform the following tasks:receive patients and prepare them for necessary dental procedures
prepare surgery for dental treatment with correct instruments/materials for use as directed by the operator
record findings from oral examinations
provide instruments and dispense materials during oral examinations or treatments, as directed by the operator
provide preand post-operative instructions for patients undergoing general or local anaesthesia
clear the patient's mouth of saliva or dental materials used in the treatment by operating handheld suction or air and water-spraying equipment
clean and sterilise instruments used after treatment
clean and tidy the surgery, and implement standard decontamination procedures for infection control
process, mount and file dental X-rays
maintain and restock dental supplies
perform routine care and maintenance of dental equipment and instruments
make appointments for patients, keep records of patients' treatments and send out reminders for re-examinations
prepare accounts and collect payments
answer the telephone and carry out other office duties.
Dental assistants may work with just one person, or as part of a team. They may have to work under pressure as most treatments have to be completed in a minimum amount of time.
good with hands
able to concentrate and follow instructions
good communication and interpersonal skills
good organisational and time management skills
interested in healthcare work.