What Are the Duties of an Oral Surgeon's Assistant?

As an oral surgeon's assistant, you'll work with patients, prepare work stations, assist in dental procedures, and perform office duties. If you're curious about the duties of an oral surgeon's assistant, read on. Schools offering Dental Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

As an oral surgeon's assistant, also known as a dental assistant, you will work closely with dentists who perform oral surgery. Your duties will range from preparing work stations to educating patients about post-operative dental care. You'll work side-by-side with the dentist during a variety of procedures.

Important Facts About Oral Surgeon Assistants

Work Environment Usually in a dentist's office, hospital, or other medical facility
Key Skills Detail-oriented, communication ability, organizational aptitude
Average Salary (May 2014) $36,260 (for all dental assistants)
Similar Occupations Dental hygienist, medical assistant, surgical technologist

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Workstation Preparation

As an oral surgeon's assistant, you'll prepare the work station and instruments for the patient and the dentist. You'll sterilize and arrange instruments, obtain a patient's dental records, and put on protective clothing such as masks, gloves, and eyeglasses.

Patient Preparation

When the work area is ready, you'll escort the patient to the chair. You'll make he or she feel at ease as you get them ready for examination and treatment. The types of treatments range from teeth cleaning and performing X-rays to repairing a crown and tooth extraction. Because patients may feel nervous or afraid of dental work, you'll need to explain the procedure so that they understand its scope and duration.

Assist with Examinations and Procedures

During treatment, you'll work alongside the oral surgeon, assisting the dentist in procedures while also ensuring the patient is comfortable. Among your duties will be preparation of topical anesthetics that numb the area of the tissue and teeth where the treatment will be performed. You'll also keep the treatment area clear for the surgeon by using tools such as suction hoses and hand instruments. You'll hand the dentist the correct instruments needed during procedures and will help observe any problems that arise.

Post-Procedure Instructions

Following the procedure, you'll instruct patients on the proper post-treatment care needed. You'll explain any needed medications required as well as how to keep the dental work clean. Further appointments may be needed, and you'll discuss scheduling for follow-up visits.

Once the work station is clear, you'll remove all contaminated equipment for sterilization. The chair and equipment will then be cleaned and prepared for the next patient and procedure. You'll update patient records and file them.

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