8 reasons why dental assistants are crucial to the success of dental practices

DSO + DPMs

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Pacific Dental Services® (PDS®), a dental support organization that provides business and administrative services for dental offices, will join the American Dental Assistants Association during the 42nd annual Dental Assistants Recognition Week in celebration of the hard working Dental Assistants (DAs) who greatly contribute to the quality of care provided to patients.

This year, this special week of recognition will take place March 3-9 with the theme "Today's Dental Assistant — Polished, Poised and Professional," chosen by the ADAA because it acknowledges the growing importance of dentistry's role in health care and the responsibilities of dental assistants.

In honor of Dental Assistants Recognition Week, which will be celebrated by more than 700 PDS-supported offices across the United States, here are the top 8 reasons why dentals assistants are crucial to the success of dental practices.

1. Leadership
Continuously grow and stretch themselves as leaders in the healthcare profession. With pure determination, tenacity, and a will to succeed, dental assistants make proper decisions that extend beyond their day to day tasks as they support clinicians with same-day dentistry.

2. Chairside Support
Every patient is different, so no two appointments are the same. During exams, a dental assistant must anticipate the dentist’s every move in order to provide specialized care to each patient. From readying equipment to serving as a second set of hands, the chairside support provided by dental assistants is key to providing the best dentistry possible.

3. Compliant X-rays
Since most procedures require quality x-rays as a guide, clinicians rely heavily on dental assistants to streamline the x-ray process and produce compliant images. DAs are tasked with operating x-ray equipment while simultaneously interacting with patients. Though this can be a challenge, especially with nervous patients, experienced DAs know exactly how to expedite time spent in the x-ray room.

4. Patient Education
Dental assistants are commonly the first line of defense when it comes to educating patients about oral health care. They proactively explain diagnoses and treatment choices, taking the time to answer any questions a patient may have. When patients are armed with the proper information, they are more likely to begin treatment.

5. Medical Records
Maintaining medical records is a fundamental element of patient care. Dental assistants are responsible for effective and accurate charting, especially during full mouth examinations when dentists call out findings for documentation in patient records. DAs also must ready medical records for dentists to review before each appointment and update charts at the end of every visit.

6. Patient Comfort
Visiting the dentist can be a very stressful experience for some patients. DAs are frequently called upon to serve as both skilled clinicians, as well as a source of comfort for distressed patients during difficult exams. By providing compassionate care, dental assistants ensure patient comfort.

7. Sterilization of Rooms and Equipment
Dental assistants perform thorough and efficient sterilization of rooms and equipment, cleaning and resetting operatories just in time for the next patient. A regimented sterilization schedule is absolutely essential, particularly in a busy office with back to back appointments. DAs get the job done.

8. Quality Oral Health Care
Dental assistants make a difference every day through their dedication to providing quality oral health care. Their commitment to offering the best dentistry possible enables dental practices to create Healthier, Happier Patients®.

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