Under general supervision, assists a dentist or dental hygienist in the performance of his/her duties; cleans, sterilizes and arranges dental instruments; maintains records, coordinates clinic and office operations; performs related duties as required.
This journey level class is characterized by the responsibility to work directly with dentists and dental hygienists, performing a variety of dental procedures that requires knowledge of dental equipment, materials, and terminology. This class is distinguished from the Dental Assistant, Registered in that the latter is not responsible for providing lead worker guidance to interns.
Depending on assignment, duties may include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Assists in assigning, monitoring and reviewing the work of others for completeness, accuracy and adherence to policies and procedures; provides technical expertise in the resolution of problems; explains department/program policies and procedures related to assigned function; participates in the evaluation process by monitoring and reporting on work performance.
2. Coordinates clinic and office procedures; performs clerical activities related to dental clinic operation; files and sorts records, charts, and other materials; keeps records of patient appointments, results of examinations, dental work performed, and number of patients seen; assists in maintaining dental supply inventories; maintains records, scheduling client appointments; processes dental insurance forms and pre-authorization cards; processes dental invoices and estimates costs.
3. Prepares and arranges dental instruments, equipment and accessories on trays ready for use; sterilizes and cares for dental instruments; keeps sufficient amount of dental supplies available.
4. Takes, develops, and mounts dental x-rays; mixes and maintains supplies of developing and sterilizing solutions.
5. Presents information on dental health to the general public and other staff; prepares patients for treatment and examination; answers routine questions related to impending procedures or preventive dentistry techniques.
6. Assists a dentist or dental hygienist in such chair-side functions as application of topical agents, removal of dental dressings and sutures, placement and removal of orthodontic separators and assisting in administration of sedation.
7. Demonstrates proper dental care, e.g., brushing, flossing, etc.; trains dental students and interns; restrains young children, when necessary and occasionally assists adults with disabilities.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Considerable knowledge of dental terminology; charting techniques; clinic operational procedures; principles and methods of sterilization of dental equipment, instruments, and supplies; uses of common dental instruments, equipment and material; dental hygiene and prophylaxis; dental x-ray techniques; mission and goals of public health function to which assigned; preventive dental care techniques; standard office methods, practices and procedures; office equipment operation; public contact techniques; record maintenance systems.
Ability to interview clients to obtain dental health histories, and needs for services and attitudes toward dental treatment; communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with various people of various socio-economic backgrounds and temperaments; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships; demonstrate tact and diplomacy; refer clients to providers of health and social services; deal firmly and fairly with clients; work effectively with others who have objectives counter to assigned role; maintain confidentiality of information; recognize and respect limit of authority and responsibility.
Education and Experience
Completion of a recognized course on dental assistance; supplemented by one (1) year of full-time work experience as a dental assistant, including four (4) months of experience in a lead capacity that demonstrates possession of and competency in the knowledge and abilities.
Incumbents in the class are required to take x-rays and must be certified, prior to appointment by the State of California Board of Dental Examiners, Department of Consumer Affairs to operate oral x-ray equipment.
Registered Dental Assistant Certificate from the Board of Dental Examiners, State of California.
Physical Ability: Tasks involve the ability to exert moderate, though not constant physical effort, typically involving some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling, and which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of moderate weight (12-20 pounds). Sensory Requirements: Some tasks require visual, sound, depth and odor perception and discrimination. Some tasks require oral communications ability. Environmental Factors: Tasks may risk exposure to strong odors, toxic/poisonous agents, disease/pathogens, electric currents, and machinery.
Incumbents must be able to work in an environment, which may risk exposure to communicable diseases, chemical odors and bodily fluids. Incumbents may be exposed to and required to work with chemicals.
Positions allocated to this class may require bilingual skills.
Selectees, as a condition of employment, must sign a statement agreeing to comply with section 11166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse reporting.