Depending on the dentist, the dental jobs required by a nurse can vary widely. Some dentists like to train dental nurses themselves and allow them greater responsibility, even checking teeth for loose fillings. In other cases, dental nurses may hand tools to the dentist, help clean up rooms between patient visits, put protective masks and/or bibs on patients, etc. All of these dental jobs must be done with strict hygienic standards. Proper care and disposal of used bibs, spit cups and tools are vital tasks.
While emphasis is often placed on handling the physical care of dental patients, their emotional welfare is just as important. Dental phobia (fear of dentists or the dentists' office) is not rare. A compassionate dental nurse is always an asset. It is vital to understand that these fears are not something to dismiss and dental nurses realize that being able to talk to patients and calm them done is a crucial part of these dental jobs. In fact, a competent dental nurse can help increase a dentist's business while those who are cold or uncaring could hurt it.
In some offices, dentists prefer to do all work themselves. But some dental nurses are allowed a great deal of responsibility. They may clean teeth. If so, being sensitive to patient fears and anxieties is again quite important. Other important parts of these dental jobs? They may possibly include maintaining and keeping track of dental records. Some dental nurses may send out reminders, informing patients when to come in for a routine visit (in other cases, this is left up to a receptionist).
In both large and small dental practices, dental nurses have a chance to care for patients from childhood through their adult years. This creates a warm, nurturing environment, creating a trusting atmosphere for the patients. It can be very rewarding for dental nurses to see patients and know that they, the nurses, were part of a team which helped create healthy, strong teeth and good oral hygiene through the years.
Because dental clients may have a wide range of tooth problems, a dental nurse may need to help out during surgeries. They must be used to blood and be able to sterilize equipment properly. Some nurses must keep track of the usual stock of items which dentists use, order new materials as needed and help to keep the office running efficiently.
If a dental office has several dental nurses, they must be able to work as part of a team. In those situations, the nurses may split up the dental jobs. Each nurse may have a specific set of patients or duties. One nurse may be put in charge of dental stock and supplies while another may handle computer records. Coordinating jobs effectively and working as a team is critical for those working in dental jobs where many nurses work together.