An oral surgery assistant works with oral surgeons, dentists, and periodontists in clinical situations where oral surgery (beyond procedures such as fillings, examinations, and x-rays) is frequently performed. The assistant not only aids the surgeon in performing his or her duties, but also works closely with the patient to make the procedure as comfortable and safe as possible. The oral surgery assistant helps prepare and sterilize all necessary instruments for the surgeon or dentist. The assistant also helps maintain a clean, inviting, and organized work area and facility. They not only assist the doctor during surgical procedures, but also make note of any specific instructions or procedures to be communicated to the patient during or after the surgery.
In many clinics, the oral surgery assistant performs key duties related to working with patients. These may include administration of local anesthetics prior to a procedure, as well as tending to and removing dressings and sutures as needed. The assistant’s post-operative role normally includes giving patients specific instructions for care and management as required.
Typically, the educational requirement for oral surgery assistant includes a high school diploma or equivalent. In most clinical practices, a candidate for this job must also have technical or vocational school training with an associate’s degree. To work as an oral surgery assistant, one or more state certifications are needed and must be kept up to date. An oral surgery assistant typically works in a clinical environment during regular business hours.
Oral Surgery Assistant Tasks
- Inform patients on pre-op and post-op instructions.
- Assist surgeon with general anesthesia and IV sedation procedures.
- Maintain patient's vital statistics and intravenous fluids during surgery.
- Document treatment by charting in patient records.
- Provide diagnostic information through x-rays, dental impressions and casts.