Dr Quincy has suggested me doing a blog of dental assisting a thousand times and I am writing this finally.
Honestly I didn't know where to start this blog so I ended up browsing online, and I found it quite controversial.
Some dental assistants said this job is really stressful, is at the lower end of the chain, you need good mind reading techniques; you never know what your dentist wants before he thinks of it so you don't look stupid in front of the patient. While some others said this is not the only stressful job on the world so you have to be positive and you need to find an office that suits you.
To me, they both have a point. Dental assistanting was my first job and I have being doing this off and on for 7 years, towards the 8th. I've done other kinds of work as well so I know every career has its downside. You need to keep positive and find the right office to work in.
So, what is involved within our jobs?
Basically we prepare and clean up the surgery rooms before and after each patient, we provide instruments/material our dentist needs and we do sterilisation of the instruments.
Most of the times during a procedure, all we doing is using the suction to take out water in the mouth, or passing on things to the dentist. Sometimes for a slightly complicated procedure, we need to help with retracting the tongue or cheek and occasionally help with blow dry or spray water. If the appointment requires impressions to be taken, we will mix the alginate – unless your dentist loves mixing – it's like mixing cake batter!
If we are working in a private clinic, we are also doing general cleanings of the premises. It can be as easy as changing rubbish bins or as hard as wiping shopfront windows – lucky we have windows cleaner now, which saved me from stretching! Its our duty as well to maintain a clean and neat waiting room, staff room or staff kitchen – such as mopping floors.
Most importantly, our goal is to help our dentists to satisfies our patients' needs more efficiently – I know some dentists work alone but the more we can prepare for them the better they can focus on the dentistry – have to be able to read their minds and know what they need – that's probably why we are the assistant.
So what is it like being a dental assistant?
Busy but fulfilling. Sometimes bored while sometimes exciting.
I enjoy it.