Dental assistants are responsible for a variety of tasks in the dental office, and they must be familiar with the tools and technology used in the profession. The most commonly used tools include the suction hose, the high-volume evacuator, the air-water syringe, dental mirrors, sickle cell probes, periodontal probes, and x-ray machines. In addition, dental hygienists may use a variety of dental excavators, such as bucket excavators, enameled axes, and dental axes. New advances in dental technology offer alternatives to traditional methods, but these are still some of the most basic and widely used tools. The suction hose (also known as a saliva ejector or saliva suction device) is used to help keep the patient's mouth clean and dry.
Dental mirrors allow for a more thorough inspection of the patient's mouth and reflect light to better see inside. The sickle cell probe (also known as a dental scanner) is used to examine the health of a patient's tooth through physical contact with the tool. The periodontal probe is used to measure the depth of the pockets between a patient's teeth and gums. X-rays are taken and processed by dental assistants to identify signs of tooth decay, gum disease, bone density, and hard-to-see views of premolars and molars. Bite images are a type of X-ray in which the patient bites on tabs that act as sensors or films.
This helps to identify initial dental problems so they can be treated before they become more serious. With proper training from Milwaukee Career College or Fortis, you can learn what you need to be successful in this profession in as little as 10 months. You'll learn about basic dental assistant training, common treatments and procedures, proper infection management, and how to use all of these tools. Dental hygienists may also find work outside of the dental clinic with technology companies that provide equipment and train staff on its use. If you're interested in dentistry and dental care, you need a program that prepares you for work in a dental environment.
If you've ever been curious about how to use these tools, you might want to consider a career as a dental assistant.