Prepping and Helping Make a Patient’s Visit Perfect
A dental assistant is able to take x-rays of patient’s teeth, to clean them and to conduct oral exams as well as quite a variety of other duties. The role of the dental hygiene assistant is slightly different, and is someone who may be required to get dental x-rays ready, to carry out office duties that might be needed while the dental hygienist or dentist is busy, and who will generally make sure dental clinic rooms are ready for patients. They are someone who is able to take on some of the extra duties that can arise in busy dental practices, but when there’s not quite enough work to require an additional dental hygienist. Often a hygiene assistant will be called on to help either the hygienist or the dentist.
Hygiene assistants help to prepare patients for hygiene treatments, generally making sure the practice can operate efficiently. They may review treatment plans with patients, might take impressions for dental bleaching trays, and may be able to apply basic fluoride treatments. Someone who is thinking about becoming a hygiene assistant needs to be good at multitasking and must be an excellent team player.
HOW TO BECOME A DENTAL HYGIENE ASSISTANT
Dental hygiene assistant training often takes place in the workplace. Most community colleges offer dental assistant training programs in addition to dental hygiene programs. After completing an Associate’s degree in dental assisting, hygiene assistants will often receive the rest of their training in the dental office. Working with the hygienist and the dentist, and through having daily interaction with patients will enable newly qualified dental assistants to put their learning into practice. It’s not actually necessary to be certified, but taking the trouble to become certified leads to better pay and more responsibilities.