For those of you who are currently dental assistants or looking to become dental assistants we have put together some interesting facts, things to know, etc. for you!
Some people also don't know the difference between a dental assistant and a dental hygienist. Dental assistants assist the dentist in primarily restorative procedures through help with things such as passing instruments, providing suction and water, sterilizing instruments, and taking x-rays. Comparitively a dental hygienist works with individual patients on their own to perform cleaning, scaling, and polishing of teeth, probing teeth and gums, and checking for any signs of disease. Also dental hygienists require more education. While the duties of dental hygienists are fairly straight forward the duties of dental assistants can vary depending on where you live, who you work for, and what type of dentist you work for. A great resource for some additional information about this is the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Here you can look up information for the state you live/work in. To go there click here.
With the many tasks that dental assistants have it is rare that the job is boring, in fact they are required to have what are called CE credits. These are "continuing education credits" which means you must take a certain amount of classes where you further your knowledge. This makes the job even more exciting and important. For a more detailed look at some things dental assistants should know including common requirements for dental assistants, click here.