Dental Assistant ResponsibilitiesCompumed
Dental assistant responsibilities depend on certification and career level. What all dental assistants have in common is that they work under the supervision of a licensed dentist. Florida also specifies the allowable functions that dental assistants can do.
At the basic level, dental assistants can apply topical anesthetics and take a patient’s vitals. They can retract a patient’s lips, cheeks, and tongue so that the dentist can work in their mouth. Dental assistants provide support to dentists.
Dental Assistant Responsibilities
Dental assistants with expanded duties can perform more functions. All duties will be under direct or indirect supervision of the dentist. In addition to basic duties, an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA) can do the following:
- Dental radiography (with certification)
- Polish clinical crowns
- Select and pre-size orthodontic bands
- Take impressions for and delivery of at-home bleaching trays
- Prepare a tooth surface using conditioning agents
- Place periodontal dressings
- Apply ADA and FDA-approved fluorides
The duties of an EFDA are fairly extensive. If you have all of the required certifications as a dental assistant in Florida, you can be responsible for a lot. This may be a rewarding career for many people, and you may find that you enjoy it as well.
What dental assistants cannot do are things that only licensed dentists are allowed to do. No dental assistant can prescribe medications or diagnose patients. Dental assistants can only perform the allowable duties for their state. The Dental Assisting National Board explains what all of those responsibilities include (read it here).
Prepare for Dental Assistant Responsibilities
Basic responsibilities can be taught on the job. Expanded duties, like dental radiology and monitoring nitrous oxide inhalation analgesia, require formal training and certification. You can get trained to become an EFDA in Compu-Med Vocational Careers’ Dental Assistant program. For certain responsibilities, you will also need to get CPR training from the American Heart Association.
In 45 weeks, students learn how to become a dental assistant. Courses that you take include oral pathology, microbiology and infection control, and dental materials. Students take courses in expanded duties as well.
An externship gives students an opportunity to gain practical experience. They spend time in an actual dental office. Students may discover what it is like to work in the field. They may also make connections in their careers.
Ready to find out more about becoming a dental assistant? CMVC has two convenient campuses to train for a career as a dental assistant. Contact us today for more information.