Section I. INTRODUCTION
Oral surgery is that specialty of the dental profession concerned with diagnosis,
surgical and adjunctive treatment of disease, injuries, and defects of the jaws and
associated structures. Because of the nature of this specialty and the equipment used,
the oral surgery service is often established in a less traveled area of the clinic. Patients
undergoing surgical treatment should be isolated from patients receiving routine dental
ASEPSIS AND CLEANLINESS
Because surgical procedures expose susceptible areas of tissues to invasion by
bacterial organisms, strict attention must be paid to cleanliness and aseptic techniques.
protected from any contamination that might later be introduced into a surgical site.
Possible sources of contamination must be minimized through continual attention and
adherence to cleanliness of area, equipment, and personnel. Any time we deal with open
wounds, proper sterilization and handling of instruments cannot be over emphasized.
Before using these instruments, they should be properly sterilized and maintained in a
sterile condition throughout the operation. The sterile instrument forceps should always
be used when transferring sterile instruments from one point to another. A sterile towel
should be under all instrument setups. When the operation is completed, the instruments
should be washed thoroughly. If they are not to be sterilized immediately, they should be
thoroughly dried to prevent rusting.
THE DENTAL SPECIALIST AS AN ASSISTANT IN ORAL SURGERY
In addition to some general clinical duties, the dental specialist 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 dental officer, and the
ways in which the dental officer 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 dental
officer'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