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Times have changed for the role of the dental assistant

Times have changed for the role of the dental assistant


Do not converse with the patient unless it be on necessary business. Patients are not interested in your ailments, or family affairs. The patient's time is valuable, and so is yours; and if the necessary duties are performed there will be little time left for conversation, or magazine or book reading, or for embroidering and knitting.

Study of the. idiosyncrasies of the patients. Try to remember their likes and dislikes. Some object to the saliva ejector, and after once speaking of a dislike, do not err by repeating the mistake at the next sitting. Some people have an aversion to the use of cotton, others to bibulous paper, linen, or rubber dam.

Study the supply catalog and familiarize yourself with the dental instruments. Some Assistants after six years' experience in an office do not know a hatchet from a hoe excavator, or ball burnishers from flat burnishers. This knowledge of instruments is very essential. If you do not know about them you are unable to place proper instruments in the correct places. Standardization in arrangement cannot be practical unless you know every instrument and its use. By careful study you will quickly learn the relation and position for each placement.

During the summer season it is good practice to prepare for the busy season by preparing supplies, making swabs, and sponges, applicators, cutting of base plate gutta percha, Detroit wafers for impression cups, and any cleaning and rearranging of supply closets; filing of yearly magazines and preparing as many supplies as possible, so that they will be ready for use when needed. Then it is a great comfort to replenish from the supply closet, and it eliminates ordering and buying when your time is taken up by more important duties.

There is always a class of patients that needs to be educated, and a competent Assistant will be a great asset in making explanations to patients w hen necessary. The practice of the operator can thus be benefited to a great extent.

Care of Materials and Instruments.

Jokes and side remarks are out of place in the operating room. Strict attention to business and respect for the operator and patient at all times is a mark of efficiency and good breeding.

Care of At all times keep cotton, Materials cotton rolls, gauze swabs and applicators in glass covered jars or dishes.

Saliva Ejectors should be immersed in a solution of distilled water and alcohol. To keep nickel clean, it should be gone over daily with a dry piece of cheese cloth. After each patient, moisture should be wiped off the cuspidor rims, etc.

All scissors and shears must be kept sharp and in good order. A strong magnifying glass is advocated for use in finding flaws 'in instruments and burs. Much pain can be eliminated by the use of sharp burs and instruments.

Alcohol and cement liquids evaporate. They should be kept in air-tight containers.

Mix cements according to a definite formula so as to avoid waste. These formulas can be obtained from respective manufacturers. When working in laboratory where it is dirty, use a dark cover-all apron to save laundry. Use small towels, about twelve inches square.

Do not use office linen for dust rags. Do not get acid, iodine or drugs on office linen.