What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

05 May 2021  |  No Comments
Dentist nurse taking notes about teeth hygine while doctor is holding x-ray.

Dental assistants are critical to the smooth operation of a dental clinic, to make your treatment as enjoyable as possible for you. Learn more about how Marsfield Dental Clinic works to give you the best experience possible.

Qualified for Clinical Work

Dental assistants are qualified professionals, trained to handle medical instruments and operate equipment. As part of the dental team, you will see them donned in the proper clothing for dental procedures, such as surgical masks, glasses and gloves. The clinical tasks they perform include taking x-rays and creating moulds of your teeth. If you’ve come into the dental clinic for a scale and polish, it’s often the dental assistant who digs out the plaque on your teeth, helping keep your oral health fresh.

They assist the dentist and handle tools during a dental procedure. For example, dental assistants may be the ones to apply a topical anaesthetic, to numb part of your mouth during a treatment, or they may apply fluoride or sealant on your teeth, to protect them from bacteria that can cause rot and cavities.

Looking After the Patients

Dental assistants are often at the forefront of patient care in a dental clinic. Usually, it’ll be the dental assistant who comes to meet and assess you before the dentist does. As you’ll be in their hands during the patient assessment, dental assistants are the first port of call in looking after patients, as well as bringing extensive knowledge in the fields of dentistry and dental hygiene. Dental assistants are qualified to move straight on from taking your preliminary vital signs and symptoms to the more rigorous diagnostic testing.
If you’re going into surgery, it’s usually the dental assistant who prepares you for this procedure. Other aspects of patient care include teaching you proper oral care, other preventative steps, and how to maintain your teeth after a dental treatment.

Helping Run the Dental Office

Dental assistants are key to looking after patients after you’ve left the dental clinic. This includes scheduling your next appointments, follow-up calls to check on your post-treatment status, and other aspects of customer service. They may help you with your billing or your medical insurance claims. Dental assistants are also part of maintaining the dental office, for clerical work such as data entry and other aspects of record-keeping.

Maintaining Dental Equipment

Though you may not see this aspect of the work dental assistants do, they play a key part in following health and safety protocols. Dental assistants prepare the areas for dental treatments and clean up after the procedure. They are also involved in the sterilisation and maintenance of medical instruments, infection control around the dental clinic, disposal of medical waste, and hygiene and maintenance in the laboratory.

Looking After Your Patient Experience

Dental assistants are part of the team who make sure the dental clinic is as well-run as possible, so your visit is efficient and enjoyable. For a streamlined dental practice, book your next visit to see the team at Marsfield Dental Clinic.

Disclaimer – This blog article does not constitute health advice from a dental professional. For more specific information, please seek an appointment with a dentist.

"The information in this website may be simplified in nature and does not replace professional advice. Risks and consequences may apply to any treatment. Always seek a second opinion when considering complex treatment. A referral to a specialist may be required in certain situations. Quotations can only be given after proper clinical assessment and so pricing details cannot be given over the phone."

COVID 19 Update - Oct 2021

 All our members of staff - Dentists and supporting assistants - are fully vaccinated. We are a COVID-safe practice and we are open for all general dental treatment needs and services.