From the time that kids develop their set of baby teeth, they should be seeing the dentist to ensure proper oral health. But because children often have different levels of anxiety related to the dentist, as well as different individual needs, it takes a special area of dentistry to be able to handle them. As such, pediatric dentistry, as the field that works directly with these young children, must not only involve caring for a patient’s teeth, but also for the patient themselves. This is where dental assistants truly shine. Learn about why the role of the dental assistant in pediatric dentistry is vital.
Ease Patient Stress
The fear of the dentist’s office is a common one among many young children—primarily because they’re in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people. The anxiety and stress associated with this fear can make it incredibly difficult for the patient to even sit still, let alone have a procedure done. For this reason, pediatric dental assistants need to be well-acquainted with easing the worries of children. Whether it’s by distracting them or showing them that the dental tools aren’t so scary, it’s crucial that they’re comfortable enough with kids to know how to establish trust.
Pediatric dental assistants also need to be able to explain complex dental information in ways that younger individuals can still understand. Their role often includes showing children diagrams of how they should be brushing their teeth and demonstrating effective methods of doing so. This method of education is most effective at both getting the child to understand the process of brushing their teeth and helping them remember later at home. The techniques shown to kids even need to be catered for that patient’s specific needs and oral health. So, those who have all of their baby teeth will often receive different advice than those still in the process of losing theirs.
Gather Useful Dental Information
The role of the dental assistant in pediatric dentistry also involves gathering useful information for the dentist. This could be by taking x-rays of the patient’s teeth, creating dental impressions, and even measuring children’s gums. While obtaining this data might be straightforward for those working with adults, children run the risk of moving, gagging, and becoming increasingly intolerant of the tasks being performed. This is why pediatric dental assistants must remain patient and calm enough to calm a child down and eventually do what is necessary.
Assist with Dental Procedures
Because of the rapport dental assistants establish with a patient, it’s significantly easier to keep children calm while the check-up is underway. Frequent reassurances of “you’re doing great” and “almost done” help children bear with the momentary discomfort and help them get through the process without incidents. This trust also makes them more receptive to the cleaning process and, sometimes, even more eager to learn more about it.
At the American Institute of Dental Assisting, the dental assistant career path is incredibly important to us. Between the drive of our administrators and the dedication of our professors, each member of the school aims to serve our students in the best ways possible. This is why in addition to solid education and training courses at our Phoenix dental assistant school, we also provide additional opportunities to find your niche and grow your interests.