According to research, 44% of patients receiving support from a dental support worker are 95% more likely to revisit the clinic, and even do so 9 months earlier compared to the families not receiving additional support.
A Dental Support Worker Responsibilities
Beside administrative tasks such as greeting patients and giving basic dental care advice, a dental support worker’s scope of practice is much more vast and important. Dental support worker duties include:
- Perform procedures in accordance to the Dental Practice Act
- Prepare the treatment room prior to patients arrival and following strictly the prescribed procedures and protocols
- Provide basic information about the treatments and the after care for patients, comfort, seat and drape them for procedures
- Assemble instruments and equipment, sterilize and placed them in correct position for dentist’s access
- Aid the dentist or other dental worker in treatments, suctioning and passing instruments
- Mix and prep the materials for filling teeth or dental impressions
- Provide diagnostic pictures, taking X-rays of patients teeth and developing radiographic studies for dental diagnosis
- Trim and polish study casts or mouth guards so that there’s no damage to the gums and mouth regions
- Help dentist in emergency cases, maintaining the drug and oxygen supply, as well as emergency telephone directory
- Educate and counsel patients on post op instructions and how to maintain the oral hygiene and plaque control
- Document the dental care services, add charting in patients records and medical history for future reference
- Ensure the dental equipment are safe and in perfect condition by performing preventative maintenance requirements, troubleshooting malfunctions, calling for repair or support, maintaining the equipment inventories
- Restock dental supplies if needed, placing and expediting orders and verifying receipt
Dental Support Worker Requirements
Though the dentistry field is difficult itself, becoming a Dental Support Worker is relatively simple. There are minimal to no set entry requirements for the job, the only requirement is a certificate or a Bachelor degree in related programs. Another thing that most employers look for in a Dental Support Worker is good literacy, numeracy and IT skills. Also, it’s not necessary but if you’ve had previous experience working in health or social care, this will definitely increase your chance of being recruited. While working in a Dental Support Worker role, you can still advance your studies by taking certification classes or apprenticeships.
Qualities of a Dental Support Worker
It isn’t difficult to study and become a Dental Support Worker, but you will need more when it comes to the qualities needed to be a competent one. To excel in this profession and move to an even higher position, you’ll need to possess more than just knowledge.
Attention to detail
As a Dental Support Worker, you’ll also be working in a small area in the patient’s mouth, so being able to pay attention to the smallest details is very important. This will help you discover dental issues that are harder to detect, preventing serious health issues down the road.
Working in dentistry you’ll definitely be working with both your hands and eyes, and the perform precise movements in the mouth during procedures. Since the mouth is such a narrow area to work on, having the skills to offer accurate treatments without complications is vital.
Most patients aren’t confident about visiting a dental office, and they are very likely nervous. So it is the responsibility of a Dental Support Worker to comfort and make them feel at ease. By answering requests and queries, Dental Support Worker will somewhat help relieve any lingering nervousness. With effective reassurance skills, a positive impact on patients’ minds may help them heal much faster.
Working with both senior citizens and children, a good Dental Support Worker is patient and hard working. However, on the other hand, a Dental Support Worker profession is quite fruitful. Along with the Dental Assistant job, the BLS has reported their average salary to be $44,461 per year, a lot more than many other medical jobs. Plus, you’ll jump starting a very great dentistry career, and even transgress to becoming a general Dentist.