On Monday, March 5, 2012, Dr. Margaret Drozdowski Maule, the Dental Director of the Community Health Center, Inc., sent the following email to the dental staff of CHC and site directors: “Today marks the start of Dental Assistant Recognition Week. The American Dental Association and the American Dental Assistant Association started this effort, and we are adding our voice to the recognition and gratitude. Our dental assistants make our days and they are absolutely invaluable to us and to our patients. Please join me in a great big “THANK YOU” to all our dental assistants! ”
March 4-10, 2012, has been designated by the American Dental Assistants Association, along with the American Dental Association, as the perfect time to acknowledge and recognize the versatile, multitalented members of the CHC dental team, the dental assistants. Currently, the Community Health Center, Inc. has seven dental locations throughout the state of CT operating 44 dental chairs, and over 100 “mobile” dental delivery sites. Approximately thirty dental assistants are employed throughout CHC and without their help, patients would not receive the same great quality of care.
Dental assistants work under the supervision of dentists and are responsible for a wide range of tasks in the dental office, ranging from patient care to administrative duties to laboratory functions. The position requires a diverse set of skills: clinical, clerical, interpersonal, and technological.
Regulations vary from state to state as to what duties a dental assistant is allowed to perform, but they may include the following:
- Sterilizing dental instruments and equipment for each patient
- Organizing and laying out instruments for dentist’s use
- Handing instruments and other materials to dentist during procedures
- Taking x-rays of patients’ teeth
- Taking impressions of patients’ teeth for casts
- Using suction and swabs to keep patients’ mouths clear and dry during procedures
- Applying topical anesthetic to patients’ mouths
- Removing stitches
- Make temporary crowns
- Obtaining patients’ dental records
- Advising patients on dental care
- Making patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatment
- Scheduling appointments, maintaining records, sending bills, answering phones, ordering supplies and other office tasks
If you find yourself in or near a dental office, not only during this designated week of acknowledgement, please take a moment to thank the people that help make healthy smiles possible for everyone. The group of Dental Assistants at the Community Health Center, Inc. deserves many thanks for their hard work, dedication, and expertise within the dental community. While strengthening the entire dental team, they continue to enhance patient satisfaction throughout the state, no matter what week of the year it is!