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I'm just the Dental Assistant

I'm just the Dental Assistant

I'm just the Dental Assistant

“I’m just the Dental Assistant” is something I hear more often than I care to admit.

Somewhere along the line, Dental Assistants were told or made to feel that they are the on the bottom of the totem pole in the dental office.  

This could not be further from the truth!  Who will help alleviate any anxiety patients are feeling before the Dentist even enters the room?  Who will keep the Dentist running on time? Who will help make sure the instruments are sterilized and properly maintained? We hope this is the responsibility of the entire team, but typically this lands on the Dental Assistants shoulders! Who helps reception with the timings of bookings to keep the days running smoothly? And what about entering the notes and treatment into the chart? Or ordering supplies?  That’s right…the answer to all of the above is - the Dental Assistant!

I could go on for pages about our roles and responsibilities. But I was interested in what other Assistants had to say:

“We are the key people for ensuring an efficient functioning of the dental office to provide quality services to patients.”

“The most important thing a dental assistant does is make the dentist’s and everyone else in the clinic’s jobs easier.”

“The most important thing a dental assistant does it listen to patients. Sometimes all they want is someone to actually hear them. Fears are real, and having someone to talk with and feeling heard can be the biggest things patients need to get treatment completed.”

“One of the most important things that the dental assistant does is staying two steps ahead of the doctor and five steps ahead of the schedule and day-to-day duties.”

So, it may be true that our scope of practice may not be as independent as our Dentist, Therapist or Hygienist – but without us things would grind to a halt!

So cheers to all the mind readers, the hand holders, the good listeners, the scheduler keepers and officer runners out there. You’re more than needed, and a heck of a lot more than “just a dental assistant”.