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3. Surgical Instruments

3-3. THE DENTAL ASSISTANT AS AN ASSISTANT IN ORAL SURGERY

In addition to some general clinical duties, the dental assistant in oral surgery performs a number of specialized duties. The nature of many of his duties will depend upon his capabilities, the technical procedures followed by the dentist, and the ways in which the dentist wishes his assistant to participate. The effective assistant is the one who takes an interest in his work and tries to become familiar with instruments, equipment, procedures, and techniques. He establishes rapport with patients, maintains personal and area cleanliness and appearance, and anticipates and carries out the dentist's needs so that unnecessary delays are avoided. Thorough familiarity with instruments and materials used for specific operative procedures is of particular importance in the oral surgery section. One reason for this is that surgical setups are commonly prepared, packed, and autoclaved ahead of time. From an examination of the patient's record, the experienced oral surgery assistant can usually determine what instruments and materials will be required for the operation and have them ready when needed. Many oral surgeons perform certain operations in a surgical operating room of a hospital, often using general anesthesia. The dental assistant may be expected to perform preparatory procedures, assist in surgery, and clean the operating room after surgery. Therefore, he must be familiar with pertinent basic and local hospital operating room procedures.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015