Dental Assistant

5 Surprising Benefits of Flossing for Those Considering Dental Assistant Training

March 19, 2021

Flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral health, but it’s rare to meet a patient that flosses daily. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Statistics Canada, only 28% of Canadians floss at least 5 times a week. When considering the many benefits of flossing, this might seem like an alarming statistic, but if you want to become a dental assistant, you may have the power to help people to floss more. An important component of the job of dental assistants is to educate the patients they see about proper oral health practices. 

Below are some benefits of flossing that you can mention to further educate patients on the importance of adding this step to their oral hygiene routine. 

Those With Dental Assistant Training Should Know That Flossing Prevents the Buildup of Plaque

Plaque is a film that collects on the teeth as a result of bacteria in the mouth mixing with foods and drinks consumed that are high in sugar or starch. When interacting with food or drinks, these bacteria release acids that enable carbohydrates to be broken down. If the teeth are not flossed regularly, these acids, bacteria, and carbohydrates can form plaque, which sticks around the gums and between the teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, the presence of which can increase a patient’s risk of developing gum disease. As a professional with dental assistant training, you can explain to patients that flossing regularly can prevent the buildup of harmful plaque and tartar. 

Flossing regularly can prevent the buildup of plaque

Flossing Can Reduce Bad Breath

Another benefit of flossing is that it can work to reduce bad breath, or halitosis. Plaque contains bacteria, as does larger food debris, which can get lodged between the teeth. Unfortunately, this bacteria can emit an unpleasant smell. If a patient complains that their breath doesn’t improve after brushing, this could be a sign that flossing needs to be added into their oral hygiene routine. In tandem with brushing, flossing can remove a greater amount of plaque and food debris, keeping a patient’s mouth cleaner and helping to maintain fresher breath. 

Cavities Can Be Prevented by Flossing

Cavities are a common but unfortunate occurrence for many patients. Cavities are often caused by plaque building up in between a patient’s teeth. Due to the design of a toothbrush, it’s often impossible for brushing alone to target all the plaque in and around the teeth. Therefore, it’s important to floss in order to remove plaque that is stuck in hard-to-reach places. The greater the amount of plaque on a tooth’s surface, the higher the risk of developing a cavity. By flossing daily, patients can reduce the amount of plaque on their teeth and reduce their susceptibility to cavities. 

Flossing can prevent cavities

Flossing Lowers a Patient’s Risk for Gum Disease

Flossing daily can help patients to reduce their risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, with inflammation around the gums a prime symptom. Inflammation can be caused by excessive plaque or food particles. By removing these harmful substances, flossing can improve gum health, reducing inflammation, and preventing the development of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, bleeding, and other oral health issues. After completing dental assistant school, you can help to reduce the prevalence of gum disease by informing patients of the preventative effects of flossing. 

Flossing May Improve Heart Health

While flossing doesn’t have a direct effect on heart health, flossing does lead to a decreased risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to both diabetes and heart disease, and by preventing gum disease through flossing, patients also have a greater likelihood of reducing their risk of developing these additional diseases. If flossing plays even a small role in preventing these diseases, it’s clearly a sensible move for patients to make the practice a part of their daily routine. 

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Dental Assistant

Is Fluoride Rinsing Necessary? A Look for Students in Dental Assistant School

January 29, 2021

Fluoride is a natural mineral that can strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. It’s an essential ingredient found in various standardized oral hygiene products, ranging from toothpastes to mouthwashes—used to protect tooth enamel from bacteria that harms teeth and gums. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to fluoride is a key component in preventing tooth decay. With that in mind, it’s worth taking the time to understand how fluoride treatments work and how they affect our dental health. This blog post will cover the basics of fluoride treatments as well as their benefits and side effects for students in dental training. 

Exploring What Fluoride Products and Treatments Are All About

Fluoride treatments and products come in different forms with varying levels of concentration. Unlike the professional treatments provided in dental clinics, store-bought products typically contain lower levels of fluoride. They can be purchased in the form of fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Alternatively, dentists and graduates of dental assistant school can administer professional fluoride treatments through a concentrated rinse, foam, gel, or varnish—given through a mouthwash, put into a mouth guard, or applied directly to teeth via a brush.

Fluoride treatments can also be prescribed by a dentist, in which fluoride supplements are given to protect sensitive teeth that are highly susceptible to cavities. These treatments are meant to help strengthen teeth and improve dental hygiene. However, chronic use of highly-concentrated fluoride products can also have some negative repercussions. 

Dental assistants can help clients discover effective dental hygiene practices

A Closer Look at the Benefits and Side-effects for Those in Dental Assistant School

After completing your intra-oral dental assistant training, you’ll be able to educate clients on how best to maintain their dental health. Fluoride can be used to help both children and adults improve their dental health. In fact, one study found that children (up to the age of 16) who used fluoride varnishes were 43% less likely to develop cavities. Fluoride works by restoring tooth surfaces, effectively preventing (and, in some cases, reversing) tooth decay. In this way, it can help prevent gum disease and reduce tooth pain.

Despite these benefits, fluoride poisoning should be seriously taken into consideration. Although it’s rare, some individuals (particularly children) could ingest too much fluoride—potentially leading to toxic side effects or allergic reactions. For example, overdosing on fluoride supplements can cause nausea, diarrhea, tiredness, or excessive sweating. That said, a more common side effect could include tooth discoloration. 

Fluoride treatments can benefit both children and adults, helping them improve their dental health

The Main Takeaway Regarding Fluoride Rinses and Treatments 

Interestingly, we naturally consume fluoride through specific foods and tap water. Fluoride treatments are considered additional measures taken to help those with a higher risk of developing dental caries and cavities. Choosing to get fluoride treatments, whether professionally administered or done with at-home dental products, depends on various factors—including the state of a client’s oral health, their diet, and their dental hygiene routine. 

The use of fluoride in dental products is generally safe, with its benefits typically outweighing its rare side effects. That said, having these discussions with clients is an essential step in providing the best dental care possible. 

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Dental Assistant

What Those With Dental Assistant Training Should Know About Charcoal Toothpaste

November 24, 2020

Dental Assistant Training It seems like overnight our pharmacies and grocery stores became filled with a vast range of activated charcoal-based cosmetic products. All kinds of new products—from facial creams to blemish-fighting solutions, masks and facial peels, and shampoos and conditioners—are now touting the benefits of activated charcoal. There’s also a huge range of dental products containing the ingredient, from toothbrushes to floss, mouthwashes, and toothpastes.

As this new wave of dental products has come on the scene, lots of people—including high-profile celebrities and social media influencers—have been raving about them as a budget-friendly, natural alternative to peroxide for tooth whitening. But some dental health experts and researchers have since warned the public that these products may not be all they think they are.

Activated charcoal is added to most toothpastes in the form of a fine powder

An Examination of the Main Ingredient for Students in Dental Assistant College

The activated charcoal ingredient found in all of these beauty and dental products comes from the likes of coal, peat, wood, nutshells, and bamboo. Activated charcoal differs in that it’s heated in the presence of gas, causing the substance to develop pores that can serve to trap chemicals and prevent them from being absorbed. 

Because of this toxin-removing capability, activated charcoal has long been used orally as an effective method of treating poisoning and overdoses, and is also sometimes used to treat upset stomach and even hangovers. Consumers are largely attracted to charcoal-containing toothpastes because of manufacturer claims about the ingredient’s potential to both whiten teeth and detoxify the mouth. 

Activated charcoal is added to most toothpastes in the form of a fine powder

Do Charcoal Toothpastes Actually Whiten Teeth?

Students in dental assistant school will be interested in the results of a 2017 scientific dental journal study that showed more than 95% of charcoal toothpaste manufacturers claimed their products had whitening benefits. More than 45% of them also claimed the benefit of mouth detoxification, with labels such as “anti-fungal” and “anti-bacterial” often found on the packaging. But dental professionals around the world today are saying there’s no study-based scientific evidence to prove these claims, with some research overwhelmingly disproving them.

Some dental health professionals warn that the abrasive nature of charcoal may actually harm teeth

Why Are Some Dental Health Experts Warning Against the Use of These Toothpastes?

Some dental health professionals have expressed concern that the abrasive nature of the fine activated charcoal powders added to dental products may be harmful to tooth enamel, possibly weakening teeth and harming gums with long-term use. As an added potential harm, researchers say many charcoal containing toothpastes omit fluoride—the key ingredient needed for combating tooth decay.

Additionally, students of dental assistant training should be aware that both the safety and toxicity of many of these toothpastes remain untested. This is concerning amid the revelation by researchers that charcoal contains no less than four hydrocarbons, and that many charcoal toothpastes also contain bentonite clay—all recognized by government health authorities as possible carcinogens. 

Activated charcoal appears to have its place in the health industry for preventing chemical absorption, but additional research seems needed to prove its effectiveness and safety when used in dental products. With this in mind, many dentists will still prefer to recommend peroxide-based products for budget-friendly whitening, due to their proven effectiveness and safety.

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Dental Assistant

What Those With Dental Administration Training Should Know About Dental Anxiety

October 09, 2020

dental admin trainingMost people don’t rate dental visits as an enjoyable experience—even so, they’ll routinely schedule and attend their dental appointments once or twice a year as a matter of maintaining good oral health. 

For others, the very idea of going to the dentist is a non-negotiable. Not only will they neglect to make regular dental checkups–due to their anxieties surrounding these visits–but they may even refuse or put off treatment altogether. This may occur even when it’s absolutely needed for addressing pain or some other kind of dental issue.

By avoiding going to the dentist, a small dental issue can become severe, posing a real threat to the person’s health. To prevent worst-case scenarios, dental health professionals can be of assistance by making the dental visit as pleasant and comfortable as possible for clients while being on the lookout for signs of anxiety to calm their fears.

To understand more about dental anxiety, let’s take a look at the condition.

What Is Dental Anxiety and What Causes It?

Anytime someone feels fear, anxiety, or stress in a dental environment, we can call this dental anxiety. Unlike standard butterflies, those with dental administration training should be aware of the more extreme version of the anxiety, which causes the sufferer to avoid and delay treatment.

Affecting people of all ages, dental anxiety is usually caused by associations with some of the standard instruments of dentistry. Drills, pliers, and needles are examples of items that tend to preoccupy the mind of the sufferer, also acting as triggers of anxious thoughts. Standard smells and noises of the dental clinic can also be strong triggers. The fear may have been caused by a particularly traumatic dental checkup, but can also be due to generalized anxiety, the fear of losing control, or other anxious conditions triggered by the dental environment such as claustrophobia or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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A traumatic dentist visit in childhood can lead to a lifelong fear if left unaddressed

What Are the Symptoms of Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety may quickly reveal itself to a person who’s attended dental office administration college, with the sufferer displaying obvious signs of panic from the time of arrival. In the waiting room, they may be shaking, tapping their foot nervously, hyperventilating, or sweating. Visible signs of distress in young children may include crying or extreme withdrawal.

Other symptoms of the condition will not be as obvious, such as an upset stomach, hot flashes, the use of humour or excessive chattiness to cover up fear, a racing heartbeat, palpitations, and lowered blood pressure, which can sometimes lead to fainting.  

What Are the Repercussions of Ongoing Dental-Related Anxiety?

People who are fearful of going to the dentist may widen the gap more and more between visits, creating a vicious cycle of dental anxiety. The less frequently they go, the imagined fear surrounding each visit intensifies, causing them to put off going all the more. Clients with extreme anxiety may not have been to the dentist for years, and in some cases even decades.  

Routine cleanings and screenings are crucial for preventing cavities, gum disease, and many other harmful dental issues. Putting off cleanings puts a client at risk of developing major dental problems, requiring complex treatment. A lack of proper oral hygiene can also lead to many other health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease. 

dental office admin diploma
By avoiding the dentist, a mild dental problem can evolve into something much worse

How Can It Be Addressed and Treated?

Parents of children with a dental phobia will often work together with the dental team to find ways to manage the situation, which can be as simple as fostering a more pleasant environment on future visits to include some kind of reward-based positive reinforcement.

Dental teams can also assist adults with ongoing fears, often including open discussions on creating environments for visits that are as trigger-free as possible. The dentist may advise relaxation therapy, which may include counselling, meditation, deep breathing, or distraction through the use of music or screens. Clients requiring intense dental work may require more interventive treatment methods for combating their fears, such as the use of anxiety relieving medications, nitrous oxide, or even general anesthesia for more serious procedures.

How Can Those with Dental Administration Training Help?

All members of the dental practice team, including dental office staff, have an important role to play in preventing dental anxiety in the client. The dental office administrator can help by creating a pleasant environment the moment a client arrives. They can also assist with identifying sufferers so that a treatment plan may be suggested to help allay fears and foster a quick return to routine dental screening.

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Dental Assistant

How to Sterilize Dental Instruments After Intra Oral Dental Assistant Training

July 31, 2020

Any instruments used in a dental practice must be sterilized effectively and cleaned thoroughly enough to safely be used on clients. Dental instruments are bound to interact with a person’s microbes and bacteria, and therefore risk infection. 

Therefore, it’s important to control any possible contamination for the safety of all parties and to maintain efficiency at the dental practice. To do this, you’ll need to sterilize them and ensure that they are as clean as you can possibly get them, and there are steps you’ll have to take to get it done.

Here are some tips for sterilizing dental instruments.

The Preparation Phase: First Steps in the Sterilization Process

Before you begin sterilizing any instruments, make sure you are wearing PPE (personal protective equipment). This can include utility gloves, face masks, and special eyewear to help protect you from any microbes you could come into contact with, as well as from contaminating instruments with anything you’re possibly carrying. 

You must also be sure that instruments are cleaned properly before being sterilized (though do not wash them by hand), and that they are soaked and sprayed with a solution to prevent the buildup of fluids from hardening on them. Ideally, you would do this via automated instrument washers or disinfectors, or with an ultrasonic solution that uses sound waves to expedite the cleaning process.

Make sure instruments are fully dried before sterilizing them

Students in dental assistant school can expect to learn how to sterilize instruments during their training, and they should also know to store them in a room separate from where dental procedures take place to avoid potential cross-contamination. 

Additionally, because many dental instruments are sharp, they should be handled with great care while wearing heavy-duty gloves when brought to this separate room so that you can avoid injuring yourself. Bring them to this room to be sterilized after an appointment, and separate clean and dirty instruments on separate sides of a table, so you know which one is which.

The Sterilization Phase Explained for Dental Assistant School Students

Before you begin properly sterilizing your instruments, be sure they are dried out first. They will be wet after you place them in the sterilizer if they are not, and this creates a health and safety hazard as well as possible corrosion. 

Once they are dried, package them and seal them in an autoclave wrap to minimize any exposure to air, and load them without placing them too close to one another. Be sure to use locked, closed-system cassettes to save time, and to avoid contact with hands and possible contamination. If possible, have a cassette rack readily available so you can sterilize instruments without overloading.

Do not place instruments too closely together, or overload them

Students in intra-oral dental assistant training would also be wise to learn to keep instruments inside their packaging before being used, whether these are autoclave wraps, pouches, or other appropriate packaging materials. Package them carefully to avoid poking holes, as you’ll need to restart with a new package if you do. 

Put the instruments in the sterilizer, and begin the process once it is full. Take the instruments out once the sterilization has finished, and store them away from any dirty instruments. Ensure no holes have appeared through the packaging (they will need to be sterilized once more if this happens), and discard the piece of paper attached to the sterilizer.

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How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 as a Dental Assistant College Graduate

July 02, 2020

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, dental offices across the country have been closed for all non-emergency appointments. As they slowly prepare to resume normal service, dental professionals need to rethink how they approach their work in order to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. 

Dental assistants play an important role in dental offices, public health centres, and other clinics. They ensure that everything runs smoothly and work closely with other dental professionals and patients. Read on to find out how you could help dental offices to run safely and securely in light of COVID-19. 

Screen Patients Before They Enter the Dental Office 

The first step to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the dental office is ensuring that infected persons don’t enter. Whilst it’s impossible to do this with complete certainty, there are steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening. 

After you graduate from dental assistant college, you may be responsible for screening patients when they make an appointment and before they enter the dental office. This might involve finding out whether they have travelled outside Canada recently, or been in contact with someone who has. You may also need to ask if they have experienced any symptoms of infection, such as a fever, a cough, or breathing difficulties.

If they answer yes to any of these questions, you might have to postpone the appointment or offer a virtual appointment. In addition, you may need to check patients’ temperatures before they enter the dental office, and prevent anyone with a high temperature from entering.

Check patients’ temperature before they enter the dental office to stop the spread of COVID-19

Wear a Mask – and Provide Them for Clients 

In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, you should ensure that all dental staff and patients are wearing some form of personal protective equipment (PPE). According to the Canadian Government, the virus can be spread in three ways: 

  • Respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze
  • Close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands 
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your face

Wearing an N95 respirator or a surgical mask will stop the spread of the virus through respiratory droplets. It acts as a physical barrier, and also stops patients from spreading it through touching fingers and hands to their mouth. As well as this, additional PPE like gloves can help to stop the spread through contact. 

Separate Patients in the Waiting Area and Common Spaces after Dental Assistant College 

In dental assistant training, you will learn that one of your main responsibilities as a dental assistant will include welcoming patients and scheduling appointments. In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in dental offices, you should ensure that patients are two metres apart while in the waiting room and other common areas. 

In order to do this with ease, you may need to reduce the number of appointments that are made and avoid any overlapping appointments. In addition, you should tell patients to come alone if possible, to limit the number of visitors. 

Make sure that patients are sat apart in the waiting room

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Dental Assistant

5 Fluoride Facts for Those in Dental Assistant School

May 19, 2020

dental assistant school
We are all familiar with fluoride from every visit we’ve ever taken to the dentist. But how does it work, and how exactly does it benefit our teeth?

Fluoride is a mineral that can be found within the surface of the Earth, and in several different forms. In dentistry, fluoride treatments can help clients to prevent tooth decay from progressing, as well as to make enamel stronger and more resistant to acids that would otherwise weaken it.

Curious about how it works, and why it’s so important for clients’ oral health? Here are five facts about fluoride you need to know if you’re considering dental assistant school.

Fluoride Helps to Protect Teeth from Tooth Decay

Since oral bacteria makes acids through mixing with sugars from drinks and food, fluoride can be used to protect the teeth from acid attacks that can weaken them, and can also reverse tooth decay during its earlier stages. You can also provide professional fluoride treatments such as varnish to help protect clients’ teeth even further, as optimal protection from tooth decay comes from receiving fluoride from various sources.

Fluoridated Water is an Even Better Way to Do It

Adding fluoridated water to toothpaste is considered the best way to protect one’s teeth from decay, as fluoride toothpaste by itself is not enough. Although fluoride naturally exists within water, it is not typically at a level high enough to help protect one’s teeth.

Those in dental assistant school should also know that fluoridated water is safe for children, and drinking it while their teeth are growing will make them likely to develop stronger teeth that become increasingly resistant to decay over time.


dental assistant course
Fluoride can help children’s oral health strengthen over time as their teeth are growing


Fluoride Can Protect Teeth Through Remineralization

Essentially, the bacteria found within plaque around the teeth comes directly into contact with the enamel, eating away at it and taking minerals out of it while doing so — a process known as demineralization.

Remineralization, a process that naturally happens within the mouth, is what is necessary to help strengthen weakened enamel. Fluoride can promote this process by ensuring the enamel strengthens and becomes more resistant.

Fluoride Can Also Be Found in Some Foods You Eat

Although brushing one’s teeth twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste is the best way to consume fluoride outside the dentist’s office, you may be surprised to learn that it can also be present in food. More specifically, fluoride can be found in milk, eggs, yams, fish (particularly if canned), and even red meats. While these foods are low in fluoride, with only about 0.1 mg per serving in each of them, you can encourage clients to introduce these foods into their diet.

Dental Assistant School Students Should Know How Much Fluoride Clients Need

Since fluoride application is something you may practice in a dental assistant course, it’s important to be aware of exactly how much fluoride clients should be consuming. This can depend on the client’s gender, age, and the amount of fluoride already present in their drinking water.

Children between four and 13 years of age are recommended to have only one to two milligrams, and only half a milligram for infants and children under four. For males aged 14 and over, the recommended amount is four milligrams per day, while females of that same age range should consume three milligrams daily.


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Only one to two mg of fluoride should be consumed per day by children between four and 13

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4 Interview Questions You May Get After Dental Assistant Training

May 01, 2020

A career as a dental assistant can be very rewarding. You will have the opportunity to help others look and feel good every day, and hopefully leave the practice with a smile. At dental assistant college you will learn everything you need to know to work in a private dental office, a university clinic, a dental supply company, a public health centre, or any other form of dental practice.

Whether it’s your first or fifth, interviews can be nerve-wracking. It can be difficult to know the ‘correct’ answers or how to prepare, especially if you really want the job and don’t have much interview experience! Read on to discover four common interview questions and how to answer them.

Tell Us About Yourself

The ‘tell us about yourself’ question is often the very first one an interviewer will ask for almost any job. It can difficult to answer because it is so open-ended. Do they want to know your hobbies and interests? Your life story? Or just about your work experience and education?

There is no right answer to this question. It’s often used just as a warm-up and a way to get to know you. Try to keep it career-focused and describe your recent dental assistant training and experience, as well as your career aspirations.

Prepare your answer before and have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Try not to give too much information, as you don’t want to repeat yourself later in the interview.


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Introduce yourself, your experience, education, and career ambitions at the start of the interview


Answering Behavioural Questions After Dental Assistant College

Behavioural-based questions like ‘tell us about a time you overcame a problem’ are an opportunity for you to describe to an employer how you are in the workplace. These are usually focused on a problem or a conflict. It’s a good idea to prepare answers to these questions before the interview, so that you have an answer ready.

A good way to answer is using the STAR method. This is:

S – situation

T – task

A – action

R –result

Start by setting the scene. For example, maybe you were on a work placement and a young child was crying before their appointment because they were scared. The task would be that you needed to calm the child. The action is how you handled the situation. Did you use your communication skills to soothe the child? Maybe you offered them a toy or some kind of reward for going to their appointment. And finally, the result is that the child went to their appointment, and was even looking forward to the next one!

What is Your Own Oral Hygiene Routine?

If you are asked about your own oral hygiene in an interview after dental assistant college, the employer is probably not actually interested in how you clean your teeth. They want to see your passion for dental hygiene, and to hear the kind of advice that you would give patients. Use this as an opportunity to show your knowledge of dental hygiene, as well as your enthusiasm for the subject.


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You might be asked about your own dental routine


What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

Questions about strengths and weaknesses are also common. It might seem simple to talk about your strengths, but try to think carefully and match it to the job description. Choose one technical skill and one soft skill. Take a moment to expand on these and give examples.

Weaknesses can be slightly more complicated. This is an opportunity to show that you are self-aware. Don’t just say, ‘I’m very disorganized’ – explain how you are working to improve your weakness. You could say that you are not naturally organized, so you always use to-do lists and a weekly planner to make sure that you are on top of all of your tasks.

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How Students in Dental Administration Training Can Improve Office Productivity

February 19, 2020

dental office administration collegeKeeping a dental practice running is no easy task. You need to make sure there is a steady flow of patients, avoid keeping people waiting for too long, and maintain communication between dentists and the front desk.

Dental administrators are responsible for ensuring the dental surgery runs smoothly. They manage appointments, patient information, billing, and everything in between!

Read on to discover how dental administrators can increase productivity at dental practices.

Become a Dental Administrator and Allow Patients to Book, Reschedule and Cancel Appointments Online

Historically all dental appointments were made over the phone. If it was a particularly busy period, patients could be left on hold, meaning they were less likely to make an appointment, and even less likely to cancel if diary changes meant that they couldn’t make it.

Nowadays, dental practices should offer the option for patients to make appointments online. This will increase the number of appointments made. Allowing patients to change or cancel their appointment online will also reduce the number of no-shows.

Introducing an online booking system will increase productivity by freeing up some of the dental staff’s time. Dental staff will no longer have to spend hours on the phone scheduling and rescheduling appointments as this can be done via the online system. Dental office administration college will show you how to use different kinds of office software for scheduling appointments in a simulated dental office environment.

Send Automated Follow-Ups and Reminders via Text or Email

It is also a good idea to send automated reminders via text or email to patients one or two days before an appointment. This will save dental staff having to spend time calling patients to remind them that they have an appointment coming up.

Automated messages are also a good way to gather feedback. An online form asking patients to evaluate their experience could be automatically sent to patients after every appointment.

If a patient hasn’t had an appointment in over six months, it might be a good time to suggest scheduling the next one. This could also be done by an automated message to help the practice retain regular patients.

Know How Long Routine Procedures Take

As part of your dental administration training, you will become familiar with some of the more common dental procedures. This will enable you to answer any patient questions, and will also help with scheduling appointments as you will know roughly how long each one is likely to take. The average appointment including cleanings, fillings, and checkups takes under an hour.


Keeping patients waiting too long can result in bad reviews and lost clients
Keeping patients waiting too long can result in bad reviews and lost clients

If you find that patients are often left in the waiting room for more than 20 minutes, it might be a good idea to investigate why this is. Are you leaving enough time for appointments? Are you overscheduling? Take note of how long appointments take on average and allow an extra 5 or 10 minutes between appointments for the dentist to catch up. Leaving patients waiting for too long every time will have a negative impact and could result in bad reviews and lost clients.

Use Digital Software to Store Patient Information

As a dental administrator you will be responsible for maintaining patients’ medical data. This is highly confidential, so it’s important it’s stored safely. Using a digital software database is the best way of managing this information.

Some systems allow patients to upload their own information directly using computers and tablets in the dental office. This will make the practice more productive and help avoid human errors, as dental staff will not input data manually from a paper form to a computer.

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How to Manage Supply Inventory after Dental Assistant College

December 09, 2019

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As a dental assistant you will be trained to educate patients and families on dental health, take and develop x-rays, and provide chair support to the dentist along with many more tasks that keep a dental office productive and successful. One of your other important tasks might be ordering dental and office supplies, and managing inventory.

There are so many items needed to make sure everyone in a dental office can do their work without interruption. From pens and printer paper to gloves and other lab supplies there is a lot to keep track of. This is a job that requires attention to detail and a high level of organizational skills. Here are a few tips that should help keep you and your co-workers stocked up.

Remember FIFO

FIFO is a term from accounting used to report the value of inventory and means “first in first out.” For office and dental supplies this is how you will make sure the oldest supplies are used first and that you use things before their expiry dates. Following this principle also means that you will automatically be keeping track of inventory, how long it takes to use supplies, and when to order new inventory.

FIFO is a simple but important principle to follow when it comes to inventory
FIFO is a simple but important principle to follow when it comes to inventory

The FIFO guideline will also affect how you organize your supply closets. When you re-stock any item, you will shelve it behind the older items to make sure the newer items aren’t used first. Pens can get old, paper yellows, but FIFO and regular inventory checks will stop unnecessary waste from occurring.

Price Watch and Buy in Bulk

The same way affordability may be a concern when you are looking for a dental assistant college, you will want to keep costs down for supplies in a dental office. If you are able to purchase large quantities of items at a reduced cost, do so. Reducing the frequency of supply orders as much as possible is an extra benefit of this strategy.

To buy in bulk effectively you will have to monitor use of supplies to make sure the bulk purchase is worth it. Additionally, for items that do not have special bulk prices, it is advisable to watch out for any sudden price hikes or sudden increases of supply use. These things will change your budget. Effective spending or a well calculated budget will make sure important work is done on schedule.

After You Finish Dental Assistant School: Organize and Simplify

Keep your inventory organized. One way to do this is to keep the most frequently used items around eye-level. Of course, this may vary from employee to employee, but as a general rule you want to store infrequently used items high if they’re light and low if they’re heavy. Overall it is helpful to have a diagram of the supply closet showing where everything is and how much is left.

Checklists and calendars will make sure you never miss out on supplies
Checklists and calendars will make sure you never miss out on supplies

When you organize an inventory list with a supply-log and track how much of an item or product is used over time you can then pre-set order dates. This will simplify your ordering process and make sure you do not run out of supplies before new stock arrives.  Unlike an exam during your intra oral dental assistant training, you will not have to rely on your memory when you do this. Also, if you’re out of the office, then your organized and simple inventory plan will allow someone else to make sure there are supplies when you return.

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