Lead Surgical Assistant

The role of a Lead Surgical Assistant (SA) is to assist their Periodontist in the clinical setting. Their main priority is to ensure excellent patient care, maintain safety standards, and be the “right-hand” of their Doctor. This job description outlines the essential functions of the Lead Surgical Assistant position and the Core Performance areas the Lead Surgical Assistant position is held accountable to.

Essential functions
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

Patient Care

  • Welcomes patients and get them situated in the appropriate treatment room.
  • Reviews patient health histories and documents all medications, medical conditions and alerts the doctor to any abnormalities.
  • Obtains and documents patient’s vital signs and alerts doctors to any abnormalities.
  • Obtains, documents, and updates patient dental history, as well as overall health and medication history.
  • Takes and develops x-rays, photos and CBCTs/pano and uploads into patient charts as appropriate.
  • Performs the setup and breakdown of all operatory equipment, instruments, and documents on time, to meet regulatory and compliance requirements and to keep the doctor on schedule with daily patient care.
  • Assists the doctor during a variety of treatments, exams, procedures.
  • Actively delivers a positive patient experience by striving to keep patients focused on the best possible treatment.
  • Educates patients in oral care and ensures the sterility of instruments and operatory before subsequent patients arrive.
  • Is proficient in educating patients in all practice procedures, exams, and procedures.

Clinical Support
  • Actively participates in daily morning huddles for schedule review and ensure a smooth productive day.
  • Assists the doctor during a variety of treatments, exams, procedures.
  • Is proficient at (1) entering all patient documentation into the Electronic Dental Record for legal compliance, review, and Doctors’ signoff (2) preparing accurate, complete and professional treatment plans for procedures, scheduling, and insurance benefits coordination (3) scanning all required paperwork into the patients’ charts.
  • Prepares tables and trays for dentist with necessary instruments and supplies.
  • Cleans and sterilizes instruments and prepare treatment rooms as needed.
  • Ensures appropriate supply of equipment and materials.
  • Is proficient at solely working a Doctors schedule of surgeries, exams, and patient procedures.
  • Assists hygienist with patient care whenever necessary.
  • Enters accurate and complete treatment plans for review and presentation by the treatment coordinator.
  • Directs doctors accordingly to maximize efficiency and minimize downtime.
  • Assists doctor in educating patients to encourage patient case acceptance.
  • Assesses and professionally addresses any patient questions and/or concerns and manages patient care while under the direct care of the surgical assistant.
  • Is proficient and professional when handing off patients to the front office staff (following exams and procedures) to ensure patient scheduling of procedures.
  • Is proficient at performing patient chart reviews following standard operating procedures as well as collaborating and obtaining patient documentation as mandated for surgical procedures and patient medical conditions.
  • Maintains a smooth patient workflow with the front office staff and clinical teams to promote timely and exceptional patient experience visits.
  • Maintains and keeps organization within all practice electronic records systems.
  • When time allows, assists front desk staff.
  • Maintains the surgical site and anticipates chairside surgical assisting protocol in a proficient and competent manner.
  • Is willing to provide On Call responsibilities when needed from time to time.
  • Ensures surgical assistant Letters/Progress Notes are accurate and completed same day of patient’s appointments measured by daily checklists by the lead surgical assistant and doctor.
  • Assist the Sterilization Assistant in maintaining the dental office equipment.

  • Directs and leads SA in continuous process improvements.
  • Leads clinical staff in cleanliness throughout the dental office location to include taking turns cleaning the staff break room upon assignment.
  • Leads clinical staff in maintaining a smooth patient workflow with the front office staff and clinical teams to promote timely and exceptional patient experience visits.
  • Mentors and trains other clinical staff.
  • Maintains the knowledge that is a resource to other clinical staff, uses their expertise to improve patient care and advance company goals.
  • Responsible for professional and clinical development of the other surgical assistant staff.
  • Assists in the efficient transition and adaption of new surgical assistant staff.
  • Provides issue resolution and workflow recommendations for continuous process improvements to the lead surgical assistant.

Inventory Management
  • Dental supplies and dental supply ordering: maintain a running list of dental supply inventory.
  • Monitor dental supply expirations and dispose of materials accordingly.
  • in conjunction with management team to request dental supply needs properly and efficiently to the appropriate requisition channel for ordering.
  • Demonstrates cost controls while stocking rooms, storing, and ordering materials and preparing and using dental materials during procedures and exams, while adhering to inventory budget.
  • Implants: In conjunction with lead surgical assistant, maintains an excel spreadsheet on the secured server and provides appropriate paperwork to finance team for implant replacement reconciliation.
  • Regeneration Materials: In conjunction with lead surgical assistant, maintains an accurate, complete, and current excel spreadsheet of lot numbers by patient’s ID on the secured server for recall compliance purposes.
  • Maintain proper inventory of endodontic files, broaches, burs, etc.
  • Maintain endodontic equipment in proper working order.

  • Maintains OSHA/WISHA standards, aseptic technique, and HIPAA according to compliance and programs.
  • Abides by all PPE standards for clinical staff.
  • Practices universal precautions and proper infection control.
  • Minimizes waste, fraud, and abuse.
  • Reports any hazardous situations to front desk staff.
  • Be knowledgeable of spill containment and clean up.
  • Abides by the allowable and prohibited duties for dental assistants as outlined by the state of Washington.
  • Ensure that office Safety Data Sheet (SDS) are up to date and readily available.
  • Ensure maintenance of emergency kits and first aid supplies in the office to ensure accuracy and compliance with OSHA/WISHA.
  • Inspect, test and log autoclave systems and eye wash systems. Ensure weekly monitoring of autoclave systems via spore testing and other biological testing, as designated.

  • Expert in x-rays, CBCT/pano, and patient charting.
  • Detail oriented.
  • Maintains confidentiality.
  • Provides a general knowledge base need to perform the job duties.
  • Exhibits professionalism: patience, communication skills, customer service.
  • Performs job duties with a positive attitude and dedication to working hard.
  • Provides support and cooperation when working with other to provide the best patient care.
  • Remains loyal, carrying out the organization’s mission, vision and values.
  • Problem solver through critical thinking and providing solutions.
  • Proactive in identifying areas of opportunity and making the appropriate adjustments.
  • Demonstrates an expert level knowledge and skill set to properly execute the position duties.
  • Always performing their best work and leading others to do the same.

Supervisory responsibilities

Work environment
Clinical - Potential exposure to hazardous waste and blood borne pathogens.

Education and Experience
  • Maintain active Dental Assisting License required
  • 1-2 years of Lead Surgical Dental Assisting Experience preferred
  • 3+ years of Surgical Dental Assisting experience in a specialty (Perio, Endo, OS) required
  • Current BLS required.
  • Radiology certification preferred.