If you think the dentist is the only person who has an important job in the dentist office, guess again. Keep in mind, the dental hygienist ensures the patient’s teeth are clean and in good shape, but the dental assistant aides in the process, too. Not only can they serve as a sounding board, but they ensure patients are comfortable and informed during their visit, all of which they learn how to do effectively as part of a hands-on dental assisting program. Find out how these integral members of every dental team keep patients coming back.
What Does a Dental Assistant Do?
Although the title is self-explanatory, a dental assistant helps the dentist or dental hygienist during a patient’s visit. For individuals interested in enrolling in a dental assisting school, there is the expectation that to become a dental assistant, one must be willing to do the following:
- Prepare tools for various dental treatments
- Assist the hygienist or dentist during a procedure
- Capture x-rays, impressions, or perform dental lab work (i.e. dental crown or bridge creation)
- Schedule appointments, discuss insurance coverage, collect new patient information
- Apply dental sealants and fluoride treatment when necessary
How Do They Impact the Lives of Patients?
When asked who keeps patients coming back, you might not be too surprised that it is the dental assistants who are often the answer. Yes, the dentist is one of the most vital roles, but the assistants are able to create more personable relationships with patients, making them feel comfortable and welcome.
While in school, individuals looking to become a dental assistant learn ways of helping dentists retain patients. Some of these include:
- Building trust – When a patient is comfortable and at ease, a dental assistant can serve as someone who can answer questions, address concerns, and empathize. The dentist office can be a scary place for children and adults, so it helps to have someone who can make patients feel calm.
- Making patients feel special – Sometimes, when a patient arrives for their appointment, they’re hurried along with little interaction on behalf of hygienist or dentist. Some may even feel as if they’re just a number or dollar sign. When dental assistants take the time to make a patient feel special by reassuring the person that they are a priority and the dental team is going to do everything they can to address the problem at hand, it can make a big difference.
- Educating patients – If someone feels pressured to move forward with a procedure or treatment they’re uncomfortable with, they’ll be less likely to return in the future. However, by informing patients of their choices, giving them valuable information to digest, and helping them understand what they can expect, the individual will be more likely to accept the recommended treatment and return for future appointments.
Never underestimate the power of those who aren’t serving in the highest position. It’s oftentimes the individuals who interact more closely with patients who make the biggest impact.
About Dental Assistant Pro
For more than 25 years, Dental Assistant Pro has been providing aspiring dental assistants with essential knowledge and hands-on skills learning. Our philosophy is the best dental assisting training should be taught in a dental office at an affordable cost, so why not take a chance and enroll in our 10-week course schedule? It’s now more affordable than ever to become a dental assistant! To learn more about us, visit our website or call (614) 202-3919.