Dental Assistant On The Job Training

As a dental assistant, learning the proper techniques for suctioning is essential. Efficient suctioning ensures patient comfort and enables the dentist to perform procedures effectively. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of dental unit disinfection, preparation, and the actual suctioning procedure. So, let’s dive in and master the art of suctioning!

Dental Assistant On The Job Training
Dental Assistant On The Job Training

Dental Unit Disinfection: The First Step

Before beginning any suctioning procedure, it is crucial to ensure that the dental unit is properly disinfected. Make sure to review the opening wipe and barrier video to familiarize yourself with the correct method. Remember, you only need to disinfect specific components of the dental unit, such as the patient chair, the light handle on the dental assistant side, the light switch, the HVE and LVE suction devices, the air water syringe, and the patient share control touchpad. Once you have clean hands, place the necessary disposable barriers, following the proper protocol.


Proper PPE and Patient Preparation

To protect yourself and the patient, follow the correct order of putting on personal protective equipment (PPE). Start by wearing the gown first, followed by safety glasses and a mask. After using alcohol rub to clean your hands, put on a fresh pair of gloves. Once you’re properly equipped, provide the patient with protective eye wear and a bib. Position the patient in a supine position, ensuring their comfort.

The Suctioning Procedure: Step-by-Step

Now that you’re prepared, let’s go through the suctioning procedure, which involves using the High Volume Evacuator (HVE) and Low Volume Evacuator (LVE) suction devices.

Step 1: HVE Suctioning

Start by picking up the HVE suction device with your right hand. Hold it in a pen grasp or a thumb-to-nose grasp. Turn on the device using your right index finger. Simultaneously, pick up the air water syringe in your left hand. Flush water from the syringe into the HVE suction tip for 20 seconds. Additionally, practice spraying air water into the HVE suction tip. Remember to turn on the dental light and direct it into the patient’s mouth.

Step 2: LVE Suctioning

To rinse the patient’s mouth and eliminate any unpleasant taste, use the LVE suctioning device. Hold it in your right hand and place the tip into the patient’s mouth. Activate the air water spray and rinse back and forth across the patient’s tongue. Avoid placing the tip in the center of the tongue, as this may cause discomfort or a gag reflex. Move the LVE device from one side of the mouth to the other to collect water and saliva. Instruct the patient to keep their mouth open during this process.

Step 3: Suctioning the Posterior Area

Using the HVE suction device in your right hand, hold it in a pen grasp. Ensure that the bevel and switch are facing up, allowing you to turn the device on and off with your right index finger. When suctioning the patient’s left side, keep the bevel parallel to the facial surface of the teeth. For the patient’s right side, maintain the bevel parallel to the lingual side of the teeth. After rinsing for a few seconds, stop spraying water and collect pooled fluids in the corners of the patient’s mouth. Avoid touching the middle or back areas of the tongue. Use the air water syringe tip to retract the cheeks, providing a clear vision of the area and preventing suctioning of the soft tissues.


Step 4: Assisting the Dentist

During the procedure, it’s crucial to anticipate the dentist’s movements and position the HVE tip accordingly. When the dentist prepares a tooth from the lingual aspect of the anterior area, position the HVE tip parallel to the facial surface and extend it slightly beyond the incisal edge. Conversely, when the dentist works on the tooth from the facial aspect of the anterior area, align the HVE tip parallel to the lingual surface and extend it slightly beyond the incisal edge.

Step 5: Limited Area Rinsing

Throughout the procedure, debris accumulates, requiring frequent rinsing in limited areas. This rinsing should be quick and efficient, ensuring no delays in the procedure. It often happens when the dentist exits the mouth and pauses for inspection. With practice, you will become proficient in this skill, and the entire suctioning process will become smoother and more effective.

Remember, as a dental assistant, mastering the art of suctioning is crucial for providing excellent patient care and supporting the dentist during procedures. Practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if it feels challenging at first. With time and dedication, you’ll become a pro at this vital skill!

To learn more about dental procedures, tips, and tricks, visit Make You Smile. Keep smiling and stay tuned for more informative articles!