Like many medical occupations, the dental industry comes with its fair share of specialists as well as general practitioners. As one of these specialist fields, endodontists examine the inner pulp of a person’s teeth to ensure their health. They’re also responsible for performing root canals on diseased teeth and diagnosing the source of tooth pain. However, while they may differ from traditional dentists, they still require just as much assistance when working with patients. Learn about the role of a dental assistant in endodontics and their overall importance in the industry.
With the help of their dedicated assistants, they diagnose the cause of warning signs like tooth tenderness and pain, and they also perform root canals to treat injured or diseased teeth. While endodontists may differ slightly in their general responsibilities from traditional dentists, they still require assistance while treating patients and conducting routine exams. As an endodontic dental assistant, you will be a crucial employee in endodontics as you:
1. Prepare Patients for Treatment
One of the core responsibilities of a dental assistant is to prepare each patient for the endodontist to examine. This process often involves:
- Conversation: Engaging in friendly conversation puts the patients at ease and gives them a chance to ask questions about the procedures they’ll undergo. This makes your job partially a social role. You will see the patient before the doctor does, giving them a first impression of the office.
- X-rays: You will also take routine x-rays of the mouth, making your role technical, as you will need to work with the equipment.
- Cleaning: You will also perform basic cleaning procedures to maintain the required cleanliness of patient areas. This is a vital role. All instruments must be sanitized properly.
- Pre-exam checks: You will also monitor the individual’s overall well-being and comfort. Since you are talking to the patient before the endodontist, you can pass along any concerns.
Your responsibilities as an endodontic assistant will vary depending on the office’s demands. If the patient is about to receive a root canal, they may also perform the beginning stages of the treatment.
2. Organize Dental Records and Appointments
Dental assistants are also responsible for organizing the dental records and obtaining the dental history of each patient who walks through their doors. This way, the endodontist always has the information they need to give every individual the proper level of care. In addition to this, dental assistants are also responsible for scheduling appointments and preventing overlap.
Endodontic assistants obtain the dental history of each patient in a one-on-one conversation. This role is great for those who have worked in previous customer service or food industry positions. Organizing the records is a simple process where you will give the endodontist information they need. Your dental assistant training will help you identify the necessary information required for the best care of every patient. While a secretary might schedule the follow-up appointments if the office is large enough, you may also need to guide the patient through the process.
3. Sanitize Instruments and Workstation
Cleanliness is just as important in the dental industry as it is in any other medical field. As such, it’s crucial to follow all CDC guidelines. A dental assistant like you is present during endodontic procedures and afterward to professionally sanitize each instrument and keep the area near the endodontist’s station clean.
4. Pass the Proper Instruments to the Endodontist
While performing the procedure, the endodontist can always use a second set of eyes to ensure they have the right instruments on hand. This way, they can spend most of their efforts on the task in front of them rather than trying to find the proper supplies. Common instruments include:
- Endodontic burs: These instruments open the inside of a tooth in preparation for a root canal.
- Excavators: These instruments remove small amounts of tissue from the teeth.
- Barbed broach: These instruments remove the majority of tooth tissue during a root canal.
- Files and reamers: These are long drill bits.
- Ultrasonic instruments: Ultrasonic instruments oscillate automatically and have various applications in endodontics.
To ensure the endodontist can perform procedures quickly and efficiently, you will help by passing the right instruments and holding certain instruments. This allows the doctor to focus fully on the patient’s mouth rather than pausing to find a different instrument at each step of the procedure.
Go to College With the American Institute of Dental Assisting
Whether you’re looking to work side-by-side with a dental specialist or a standard dentist, formal training is essential to success in this field. For this reason, that the school you choose should be affordable and flexible enough to meet your needs. At the American Institute of Dental Assisting, we strive to provide each of our students with just that by offering flexible, quality dental assistant training in Phoenix, Arizona.
Start your career with us by taking our 13-week dental assistant training course in Phoenix, Arizona, with flexible timeframes. Learn with real patients on your ideal schedule, and get your resume ready with the right training and experience.