The dental office consists of a specialized team that works together to provide efficient and effective treatment; a typical office includes dental assistants, dental hygienists, dentists, dental technicians, and office managers. Each position has its own separate duties in the dental office and today we’ll explain what they are.
Dental assistants are in charge of improving the efficiency of the workplace, not to mention the quality of the dental treatment as well. Dental assistants juggle around tasks that vary between clinical work and office duties. Typical responsibilities include scheduling appointments, greeting patients, record keeping, preparing instruments, sterilizing tools, performing x-rays, and assisting alongside the dentist with chair-side duties. Tasks largely vary from office to office, and any new dental assistants will typically be assigned roles to fill in the gaps. Most dental assistant programs can be completed within a year, and there is even an option to become certified as well, which is essentially national recognition as a dental assistant. For more information, you can visit this website.
Dental hygienists are similar to dental assistants, although their jobs revolve more around clinical tasks. Dental hygienists are able to perform most of the tasks that dental assistants can perform, although their main concern is with preventative dental care. Dental hygienists are often the people you see before the dentist examination in a regular check-up. Typical duties that a dental hygienist will perform includes removing plaque and tartar, performing x-rays, tracking patient care, and helping to train patients with proper dental hygiene (e.g. flossing, brushing, diets). Dental hygienists require a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene in order to get started in this career.
You’ve obviously heard of the dentist before, but what exactly do they do? A dentist, or a dental surgeon, is a professional health care practitioner whose main concern is with healthy teeth. And the only way to have healthy teeth is to prevent disease. Dentists can be thought of as the doctors in the dental office, who are licensed and skilled in diagnosing, preventing, and treating oral diseases, injuries, and malformations. Most dentists fall into the category of “general dentists”, which are typically your primary care dental providers. But there are other types of dentists that specializes in different fields as well, such as endodontists, orthodontists, periodontists, prosthodontists, and dental cosmetic surgeons. Of course, dentists have to go through a good amount of schooling, often requiring 4 years of undergraduate school as well as 4 more years of dental school.
A dental technician primarily works in the laboratory, where they help to create and repair numerous custom made oral devices. Dental appliances include dentures, implants, crowns, and bridges which are used for the treatment, replacement, and protection of damaged, malformed, and missing teeth. In order to create these oral devices, a dentist communicates to the dental technician with blueprints, drawings, and measurements of the patient’s teeth. Dental technicians often require a dental laboratory technology certification in order to start.
Dental Office Manager
A dental office manager is exactly what it sounds like. They manage the dental office, performing various administrative work that can include payroll, record keeping, answering phones, setting up appointments, taking payments, accounting, and also serving as a human resource manager. As a human resource manager, dental office managers help to manage the staff and administer job interviews. Basically, an office manager deals with the day-to-day operations so that everyone else in the dental office can focus on patient care. Oftentimes, dental assistants also help with administrative tasks as well, although they don’t do everything that a dental office manager is in charge of. In order to become a dental office manager, one must complete training and receive a certificate in dental office administration.