Dental Assistants are trained personnel who provide chair side assisting, four-handed dentistry, radiology and the use of dental materials in Dental clinic. Dental Assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of quality oral health care. They are the second pair of hands for the dentists.
They mix dental materials, provide oral evacuation during dental procedures. It is the duty of the dental assistant to make the patients as comfortable as possible and relaxed for their treatment. They work along with the dentist as they examine and treat patients.
They hand instruments and materials to the dentist and keep patients' mouths dry and clear by using suction or other devices.
Dental Assistants are also involved in the administration of the Dental practice by answering telephones and making appointments.
High school / 10th/ 12th candidates with biology, chemistry, health subjects can join for a dental training course to start a career as a dental assistant. There are numerous dental colleges and schools in India, providing training courses on dental-assisting programs.
Diploma in Dental Assistance and Dental Operation Room Assistant (DORA) are two main courses in this field. The duration of these courses may vary from 10 months to 2 years, depending on the institute. These courses teaches variety of skills needed for a dental assisting career.
The course includes a study of basic body systems and functions, oral anatomy, dental science, dental materials, computer and office applications, and oral radiology in preparation for these job duties. It may also include classroom and laboratory work in which students learn about teeth, gums, jaws and other areas that dentists work on.
An internship during the course offers students the opportunity to practice their learned skills in a dental office environment and prepare for their dental assisting career.
Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will likely continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services.