Dental assistants now play a key role in dental offices across the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for this career is expected to grow 29% from 2006 to 2016 – placing it among today’s fastest growing occupations.
As the demand for dental services continues to soar, these professionals are being called on to handle a broader range of responsibilities. Working alongside a dentist, their patient care work includes:
* Handling instruments and operating dental equipment
* Sterilizing instruments and equipment
* Taking dental x-rays and processing the film
* Removing sutures
* Applying topical anesthetics to gums or cavity-preventive agents to teeth
* Placing rubber dams on the teeth to isolate them for individual treatment
In addition, these professionals can also be involved in office-related tasks such as scheduling and confirming appointments, maintaining treatment records, handling patient payments and ordering supplies and other materials.