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Elements of a Great Dental Assistant

A dentist and his assitantDental assistants are essential to the success of a dental practice. There is a lot more to being a dental assistant than simply cleaning instruments and assisting the dentist. A dental assistant is the buffer between the patient and the dentist and is often the person a patient will look to for comfort and relationship during the appointment.

Duties of a Dental Assistant

Here at Pro Dental Designs, we know the importance that quality dental assistants can have to a dental practice’s success. Below are a few of the things your dental assistant should pay attention to in your office:

  • Basics: Maintaining a successful practice begins with the impressions you provide patients as they walk into your office and operatory. Your dental assistant should be spending time cleaning treatment rooms, trays, and tubs, and restocking burs, treatment rooms and closets. It’s important that your treatment rooms are clean and sanitized at all times.
  • Patient Flow: When a patient arrives, and after they have checked in, the dental assistant should seat the patient as soon as possible. If a delay is occurring during the day, a dental assistant or even a front office staff member needs to let the patient know about the delay as the patient’s time should also be acknowledged and valued. Communication is critical for patient flow. The dental assistant needs to let the doctor know when the patient has been seated and likewise inform the patient of the estimated wait time for the doctor. In the meantime, your dental assistant can review or update the patient’s health history, examine the treatment planned for the day or the reason for the day’s visit, and go over the patient’s questions and concerns.
  • Patient Satisfaction: Your assistant should build small relationships with your patients. There is something very uncomfortable about a stranger looking into your mouth, so small talk and building a healthy relationship helps ease a patient’s stress.  Your assistant should pay attention to your patient’s body language.  When assisting the dentist, it’s important to comfort or soothe patients if they seem uncomfortable. Attending your patient's needs is the most crucial part of the job! Some patients may want you to hold their hands while others simply prefer communication and updates during any procedure. Explain to the patient what is going on as this will minimize their fear of the unknown and assure them that everything is going according to plan.
  • Good Practice: During treatment, your dental assistant should be paying close attention to the doctor and any instructions he or she may have. It’s also essential to follow the doctor with the light and keep a 2x2 square of alcohol gauze to clean the mouth mirror when needed.

An excellent dental assisting team is one of the keys to a successful dental practice. Having a good dental assistant can encourage repeat patients. Although Pro Dental Designs can only offer insights into what you may want to look for in a dental assistant, our services in helping maintain a profitable practice includes a proper dental website, SEO marketing, Pay Per Click, Review Generation and much more.  Find a dental marketing plan that works for you. For more information, please contact Pro Dental Designs today.

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