When you visit the dentist office, the person you may actually spend the most time with is today’s featured career: the dental assistant. Abby?
Oh hey. How’s it going? Brian. Nice to meet you.
Welcome. I’m going to warn you,
I haven’t flossed. That’s okay.
Come on in. Okay. As a dental assistant,
we are passing the dentist instruments, we are setting up the treatment rooms
for the dentists so when he comes in,
everything is prepared. We are also giving the dentist feedback on what the patient has told us in the room, previous to the dentist coming in. We polished his teeth
and we also flossed. Oral hygiene is looking really good.
Okay. He’s saying that he’s brushing his teeth
twice a day. Mom isn’t helping him though, but I think he’s doing a pretty,
pretty sufficient job As a dental assistant,
you are working with the patient’s file. After a procedure,
you’re writing in what was done. You need to be making sure
that everything is in order so that nothing is getting mixed up. Being my dad as a dentist,
I’ve always been in this profession. I’ve always been coming to his office,
wondering what he’s doing. I think it was age 14, where I started working here for the summer, pulling patient charts for the next day,
and developing x-rays. So, a big part of your job
is using the technology and accessing those images
on these computers? Mhmm. With our digital x-rays,
they are taken and transferred into the computer. So, one of our jobs
is we bring them up for the dentist. So when he comes in the room,
he can see the x-rays and he can diagnose any problems. Being an assistant to the dentist, you need really good manual dexterity. You’re passing him instruments all the time. He’s not even looking up
to see what you’re passing him. Have to graduate highschool
with prerequisites and then also you would have to go to a college. It’s a ten-month program
and at the end of the program, you’ve gained a certificate
and you have to upkeep that with continuing education. This requires you going to lectures or different conference meetings. A typical day in the life of a dental assistant, uh first things first, you want to make sure
that you’re prepared for the day. So, you’re looking over patient charts, you know looking for a medical history. You’re also getting the trays ready, we’re making sure that instruments are sterilized. We come in, every day it’s different. So, we need to be prepared for it. We always want to make sure that the patient knows why they’re here and then we sit them down
and uh we go and get the dentist so he can come in and start his work. After we dismiss our last patient,
which is around 5 o’clock, we have to come back
and clean the operatories and get ready for the next day. I only work four days a week,
uh from 8:00 to 5:00. But most dental assistants work,
work Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 5:00. What are you going to do?
You going to go snowmobiliing, stuff like that? It isn’t snowing.
It isn’t snowing. So this is what I do. I come in you know,
great the patient. I’m building trust with the patient. Just like you are doing right now. Well, I’m doing a pretty good job then aren’t I? He is, isn’t he?
Do you trust me? Yeah!
Alright, can you give me a high-five? Usually when people come in, they’re very terrified of the dental office. Most people have really bad experiences. It’s very important to be social and compassionate towards the patient. My favorite part about being a dental assistant,
is working with kids. I really enjoy having kids of all ages
come into the dental office and being able to teach them
oral hygiene instructions and just like watching them
just totally eat that up and how excited they get. Good hey?
Do you like blue? Yeah, and I also got a red one! Do you also have a red one?
Well that’s good. Okay, so do you want to come out
and get a prize with me? Okay.
Okay, come right this way. If I would want to become a dental hygienist, being a dental assistant first,
would really help me in that field. You know, going to school
and knowing what I knew in dental assisting, if you’re wanting to do something more
with your life, it’s a great stepping stone. If someone came up to me and they weren’t sure what they wanted to do, but knew they wanted to stick in the healthcare system
and work with people, I would definitely recommend
becoming a certified dental assistant. Thank you very much
for showing me around today. You’re very welcome.
Thank you. Once again,
I’m Brian for Career Trek, reminding you that this career could be yours. See you next time.