Becoming a Dental Assistant involves more than acquiring the knowledge and developing the hand-on skills necessary to perform a variety of duties. Being professional and responsible adds character to your personality and work ethics, which are very important in a work environment.
Professionalism is an attitude that is apparent in everything you do or say, in or out of the
dental office. Professionalism is what distinguishes people who think of it as just “having a job”
from those “pursuing a career”. You chose an exciting and challenging career when you decide
to become a dental assistant professional. Dental assisting requires dedication, commitment to
continuing education, integrity , and responsibility. The professional dental assistant is a vital
member of the dental health care team. A highly skilled dental assistant will develop
the qualities of a team leader. Assistants will be able to lead and take responsibility for her/his
actions, and help develop other team members to become efficient at their skill. The
dental assistant must take pride in her personal appearance, always looking her/his best . A
friendly and pleasant disposition is always welcomed by many patients. Dental assistants must
show compassion and care for patients, being most helpful before and after dental procedures.
Responsibilities ( Consent Forms):
Assistants prepare for dental procedures before the doctor is in the treatment room.
Assistants are responsible for all necessary consent forms signed by the patient before
treatment is rendered. All dental assistants will learn tray set-ups for all dental procedures and
learn how to educate their patients about the treatment being done. Assistants are also
responsible to give patients post-operative instructions on surgical procedures and/or any
other dental procedures.
In a dental office, dental assistants are exposed to patient’s blood and saliva. It is imperative to
protect yourself by wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Other responsibilities are the proper sterilization of dental instruments and disinfecting the
treatment rooms. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registers and regulates
those disinfectants to be used by the dental offices. All containers with disinfectants are to be
labeled and hazardous materials mentioned.
During patient’s treatment, the equipment and treatment room surface become contaminated
with saliva or by aerosol containing blood and/or saliva. Barriers are in place for surfaces and
equipment protection. Plastic wrap and plastic bags are most commonly used as barriers.
The Assistants will keep proper maintenance on autoclave and biosensor monitoring records.
Assistants are required to keep proper records on employee immunizations for Hepatitis B.
According to OSHA guidelines, any accidents incurred by either an employee or patient needs
to be logged in a record book. Assistants will keep up with biohazard containers and schedule
for pick-up to dispose of it properly. Infection control is a rapidly expanding and changing area
within dentistry profession. Everyone in the dental office must grasp the importance of good
infection control. Dental offices are required by law to provide annual OSHA and HIPPA compliance
update’s to all employees, in order to protect them from unknown pathogens.
Assistants are also responsible for all dental laboratory cases. All cases should be disinfected,
wrapped and boxed for pick-up from the outsource dental laboratory. A system should be in
place for keeping up with patient’s cases, pick-up and deliveries.
These are some of the duties and responsibilities that are expected by any dental office from a
Registered Dental Assistant. Never take this position lightly, remember you are an essential part
of the dental health profession.
For further information, please contact:
Greatwood Dental Assisting Program (281) 728-6012
19875 Southwest Freeway, Ste. 120 Visit our website: www.GDAP.net
Sugar Land, TX. 77479