Anyone who’s been to a dental office knows that your regular appointment is a group affair. In a good way. Aside from your dentist, you also have dental assistants who tend to a variety of tasks. Some dental assistants might handle infection control, sterilizing dental equipment to keep you safe from nasty diseases during the procedure. Others might help with the dental services themselves, making sure you don’t choke on your saliva during the treatment. Regardless of what they do, the importance of dental assistants can’t be stressed enough.
The job of a full-time dental assistant can be easily overlooked. And it’s probably one of the most crucial aspects in the dental office, particularly when it comes to patient care. While your dentist does your treatment, dental assistants make sure the rest of your experience goes smoothly. Whether that’s making sure you’re comfortable on the dentist’s chair or helping you post-treatment, they make the dental office a little less scary and more familiar.
Indeed, dental assistants are the bridge between dentistry and dental patients. And it’s a position that deserves a round of appreciated. That said, here are 4 ways that show the importance of dental assistants.
They set the tone of your trip to the dental office
Picture this—you’re one your way to your dentist’s office after a long time of not visiting. Dental appointments always got you nervous, after all. As you step into the sterile atmosphere of the office, you somehow spot a friendly face. They then welcome you warmly as you take a seat, ready to accommodate your needs.
If seeing that friendly face is enough to stave off your worries, you’re not alone. When it comes to nerve-wracking situations, it’s always essential to have someone who can diffuse the tension. While dentists want the best for their patients, they’re also very busy people, so for the most part, patient care falls under the role of dental assistants.
They handle infection control
Any medical procedure—dental or otherwise—has its own set of risks to account for. Contamination, in particular, is a crucial one to consider, as it can spell the difference between a successful treatment or a severe infection.
It’s for this reason dental assistants play a crucial role in infection control. Part of their full-time responsibilities includes sterilizing the dental equipment needed during treatment and regularly cleaning up the work surfaces.
They make your treatment go smoothly
Dental assistants are heavily involved in any dental services you partake in. While your dentist handles the procedure itself, the many facets involved in treatment can be easily overlooked if there’s no one to oversee them. This is where the importance of dental assistants shines the brightest. Whether that’s getting your X-ray or making sure you’ve rinsed out stray tartar, a skillful dental assistant makes your visit flow, so you don’t have to dread the next appointment.
They educate you on proper oral hygiene
During your visit, there’s a high chance that your dental assistant is the first and last person you’ll see. Part of patient care, after all, is making sure patients keep up with their oral hygiene to make the next visit go smoother. This can mean anything between giving toothpaste and mouthwash recommendations or suggesting habits that can improve your oral health.