Section III. ASSISTING THE DENTAL OFFICER
The amount of dental treatment needed by the patient population far exceeds the
ability of the Army Dental Care System to provide it. Maximum service can be achieved
only through the cooperation of everyone assigned to the dental service. Clinical studies
and surveys of civilian dental practice show that a dentist operating with an efficient
assistant can provide significantly more service than one who works alone.
3-11. CONDUCT IN THE TREATMENT ROOM
a. Traits of the Dental Specialist. The dental specialist should be courteous and
considerate, familiar with the routine and operating habits of the dental officer, and alert to
the needs of the dental officer and patients. He is able to perform routine procedures with
minimum supervision. The dental specialist should keep unnecessary noise and activity to
a minimum. Reading newspapers and other nonprofessional publications is to be avoided
in the treatment room. The use of vulgar or disrespectful language in any patient area is
b. When Addressing the Dental Officer. The dental officer is addressed by his
degree and last name, such as "Doctor Brown" or by using his rank, such as "Colonel
Brown." The dental specialist should avoid over familiarity with the officer when he assists.
He should never question the judgment of the dental officer about a treatment rendered. If
the dental specialist has a sincere question he wants to ask to increase his knowledge, he
should ask it after the patient has been dismissed. A question that the dental specialist
asks in front of the patient might be misunderstood by the patient and cause the patient to
wonder about the treatment he is receiving.
As medications are needed, they are placed on the bracket table or other
designated work areas and identified for the dental officer. The dental specialist should
anticipate their use either by asking the dental officer or learning his operating routine.