A dental assistant has many tasks in a dental office, and their duties vary by state/province and by the dentists’ offices where they work. Typically, a dental assistant will either work to support office operations, work in dental labs, or work under the supervision of a dentist who treats patients.
Some responsibilities of a dental assistant include:
All dental assistants do tasks such as helping dentists with procedures and keeping patient records, but there are four regulated tasks that assistants may also be able to do, depending on the state where they work, including:
- removing soft deposits such as plaque, giving teeth a cleaner appearance
- painting a thin, plastic substance over teeth that seals out food particles and acid-producing bacteria to keep teeth from developing cavities
- applying fluoride directly on the teeth as another anti-cavity measure
Topical Anesthetics Application - some dental assistants may be qualified to apply topical anesthetic to an area of the patient’s mouth, temporarily numbing the area
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Almost all dental assistants work in dentists' offices. Dental assistants work under the supervision of dentists and may work closely with dental hygienists in their day-to-day activities.