Dentists have a variety of tasks that they must complete on a daily basis, and they usually have a staff to help coordinate and assist with those many tasks. A dentist office must coordinate the circulation of patients with a combination of phone calls and records. Paper records are still widely used, but there has been a huge push in the medical industry to digitize and network patient records. Then there is the matter of dental technology itself.
Dentists have a large selection of tools from which to choose and apply to particular situations. To help keep this grouping of technologies running smoothly, a dentist employs a staff of aides, such as dental assistants and dental hygienists. Everything from X-ray machines to the many hand held dentist tools such as electric drills and brushes and simple metal picks must be accounted for and organized in the most effective way possible. Each situation with every patient counts, and being time efficient is crucial to keep a dentist office running smoothly. H. Peter Ku, D.D.S., PA
Because dentists have a staff helping them run a tight ship, so to speak, they are able to focus on their primary role in the office. The primary role of dentists is to care for patients’ tooth and gum health. While hygienists and assistants can carry out many of the function of tooth maintenance, such as cleaning, a dentist can diagnose problems and repair damaged teeth.
One of the many procedures a dentist can perform is a filling. A cavity is a hole in the hard outer layer of a tooth. A cavity can be filled with different materials. A dentist must make the decision of which material to use and then apply it properly to the tooth.
Dentists also can perform root canals. A root canal involves removing the inflamed or infected pulp from within a tooth. The procedure itself is feared because it is invasive and involves a lot of drilling, so it may be painful. However, in the long run, a root canal will reduce one’s sensation of tooth pain by removing the irritated nerve from the tooth and filling in the remaining hole.
A dentist also has the duty of interpreting X-rays and molds of teeth. Through various techniques, a dentist collects information about the health of each individual mouth. These records are kept over time. This data, when digitized, can be stored electronically and cross-referenced instantly with other records. By using X-rays, molds, and simple observation, a dentist can diagnose problems and apply the most effective solution for the benefit of the patient.
Dentists have many tasks that they must complete. Their staff aids them in coordinating these tasks so that they can focus on the specific duties for which they were trained. The technical training that a dentist must go through gives him or her the ability to operate different tools toward the goal of keeping mouths healthy. As the practice of dentistry makes new technological innovations, dentist offices will have to continually innovate ways of remaining efficient to keep the mouths of the population healthy and functioning properly.