Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in the dental field? What does it take to be a dental assistant and what is involved in the typical day of an assistant? There is a whole lot more to this position than merely being able to say “Open your mouth and say ‘ah'”! This is a skilled job that requires training and practice, but can be an extremely rewarding career choice.

The day begins

A typical day in the life of a dental assistant begins with a morning staff meeting to discuss the day’s schedule, any special patient needs that might be expected based on past experience of scheduled patients, and any outside needs, such as lab work or required medications that are not currently on hand, The Doctor might give a ‘pep talk’ acknowledging past performance and asking if there are any anticipated problems. Such meetings are good for group morale and keep0ing everyone up to date and coordinated with what is going on in the office.

The First Patient

The day’s first patient arrives and it is on with the show. From past meetings, if the patient is a regular, any special needs have been discussed already and are anticipated. Does Mrs. X need any special comfort arrangements, such as a neck pillow or foot elevation? Is she allergic to any typical pain medications that might be used? Does she prefer Nitrous Oxide to Novacaine or a combination of both? She is led to the operating theatre where she is prepped and these needs are attended to.

The Procedure

 Mrs. X is having a root canal today and will require both a local anesthetic and Nitrous Oxide for comfort and pain relief. The assistant will prepare the anesthetic, in this case, an injection of Novocain will be administered and the Nitrous Oxide mask affixed over her nasal passage, allowing the doctor access to her mouth, where the right lower first molar will be worked on. The assistant remains on station at all times to hand the doctor the needed ‘tools of trade’ to perform the operation.

The operation goes well and Mrs. X has no complaints about pain, though the assistant will fill out a prescription for the doctor’s signature for some pain medications to be self-administered when the Novocain wears off.  During the actual procedure, when he or she is not needed at the doctor’s side, the assistant will begin to prep patient number two, Mr. Y, who is in for a simple check-up and teeth cleaning. Mr. Y is a ‘nervous ned’ and requests Nitrous for his procedure. As he is a regular, this is duly noted and the assistant will begin the work of the cleaning.

This is typical day in the life of a dental assistant, such as one who might be placed by First Point Recruitment , a dental assistant temp agency. They are one of the leading dental placement agencies in the Perth area.

If you, or someone you know is interested in this type of work, or if you are a dentist looking for an assistant on a temporary or full-time basis; give them a call!