STATE AFFILIATE OF THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSISTANTS ASSOCIATION
This year is the 75th anniversary of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification. Congratulations to all Certified Dental Assistants for their ongoing dedication to their patients, colleagues, and the profession! #CDA75
We are very fortunate to live in an area where the climate seldom restricts us from outdoor activities. While the summer temperature can get hot and sometimes humid, we seldom have to face a freezing winter. Should a little rain keep us from enjoying the outdoors?
Those of us working in the dental field can experience stressful workdays. Many people fear visiting a dental office. Therefore, if we can think of healthful ways to alleviate stress for ourselves, we could suggest something for our patient to do when they arrive home from their appointment.
Occasionally time spent in the outdoors can do wonders. Here are some ways to work more outside time into your day:
While exercising outdoors, you want to remember to stay hydrated.
Tips to protect your teeth during regular exercise:
Mouth breathing can dry your mouth and increase risks for dental caries. Nasal breathing can protect your teeth and has more physiological advantages. For example, your nose and sinus membranes produce nitric oxide when you breathe through your nose, which increases your lungs oxygen absorption capacity and helps lower blood pressure.
Electrolyte replacement can be necessary during a workout. However, there are alternative ways to rehydrate than sipping on sports drinks which contain some ingredients that your body doesn’t need to refuel. Some better natural drink options are:
As long as you are aware of how exercise impacts dental health, you can avoid risk factors and stay motivated to keep your whole body happy and healthy.
KEEPING IN TOUCH - JUNE 2023
Are you familiar with and read the dental cosmos?
Dental Cosmos, a Monthly Record of Dental Science was the first enduring national journal for the American dental profession, and one of the most significant in the early history of American dentistry. It was founded in 1859 in Philadelphia. The journal published articles related to dentistry from 1859 until 1936, when it merged with the Journal of the American Dental Association. It served as a cornerstone for JADA when it was absorbed by them in 1936.
The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes..
The conversion of Dental Cosmos from print to electronic was made possible through the generous support of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.
KEEPING IN TOUCH - MAY 2023
ODC was successful this year with many dental professionals returning to the in-person event.
ODAA hosted two continuing education courses:
5 STEPS TO PRACTICING DENTISTRY PAIN-FREE: Evidence-based Ergonomic Strategies for Career Longevity, by DR. BETHANY VALACHI
Oregon DANB EFDA Exam Preparation; Infection Control (ICE), Radiation Health & Safety (RHS), Oregon Expanded Functions – General Dental Assisting (ORXG), by Ginny Jorgensen and Christina Becker.
In addition, ODAA hosted a student luncheon for 135 students and instructors who attended. The Mary Gaines scholarship was presented by Michael Jenkins, Mary’s son.
More information about Mary Gaines (pictured above), her involvement in the Dental Assistant Profession, and her life can be found on our website, in the Winter issue of our yearly Newsbulletin 2022.
Mary Gaines Scholarship 2023 Award Recipients
Two Chemeketa Dental Assisting Program students, Emely Gazares and ShayLynn Miller in the amount of $1,250.00 each.
After each speaker gave their presentation, they drew a door prize ticket from a basket and 6 students were the lucky winners to receive a gift.
Jen Price from DANB and the DALE Foundation presented “Building A Rewarding Career As A Dental Assistant”
Alyssa Kobylinsky and Stacy Kimsey presented their stories of becoming interested in dental assisting and how the pathways they have followed are different but both have led to their current successful positions.
The final presentation was given by Dr. Cassondra Phillipsen who is the executive director of Medical Teams International. She was an excellent, energetic speaker and a perfect end to a fun program for the students.
ODAA Representatives at the 2023 Oregon Dental Conference
We had several interested dental professionals visit the ODAA courtesy table to purchase pins, keychains, socks, watches and to get questions answered by the ODAA board members.
Overall, ODAA ODC 2023 was a great success!
Ginny Jorgensen, Vice President
ODC Committee Chair
Dental Assistants Recognition Week
Dental Assistants Recognition Week will be held March 5-11, 2023 is designated by the American Dental Assistants Association as the perfect time to acknowledge and recognize the versatile, multi-talented member of the dental team. Dentists in the United States and Canada will celebrate by honoring their dental assistants for their various duties and helping them provide patients with quality dental care.
The theme for 2023 is "The heart of Dental Offices Through Education, Commitment and Safety" and acknowledges the growing importance of dentistry’s role in health care and the responsibilities of dental assistants.
Dental assistants possess special traits and talents that help the office run smoothly so patients receive the most comfortable care. During the month of March, DANB reminds us that those talents are:
Not all patients look forward to going to the dentist and some are right down scared. Dental assistants seem to have a knack of making them less stressful and no longer worried.
Have you ever thought about how many tasks you perform each day and sometimes it seems all at the same time.
Assistants are the dentists extra hands and eyes. Anticipating their need sometimes before they know they need it and haven’t asked for it.
Sharing your knowledge
Dental assistants are educated professionals and should feel proud when they can share some of that knowledge with their patients. What caused that oral problem and describe the treatment the dentist is recommending.
Helping that patients smile return to what it once was and could be again. Giving them more happiness and a happier life.
VALENTINE’S DAY & CHOCOLATE……THE PERFECT DUO
Over the years (and centuries), Valentine's Day has been a religious celebration, an ancient ritual day, and a commercial holiday. All that change means the meaning of Valentine's Day is truly whatever you want it to be: you can skip the celebrations completely, buy yourself some chocolate or flowers, or express your love and appreciation for the people in your life, whether they're co-workers, romantic partners, friends, or family members.
If you are looking forward to indulging on some Valentine treats, remember to indulge safely. For many people during this holiday, one of the most common connection is with chocolate and your teeth.
Now, as you walk up and down the candy aisles, we hope this gives you some ideas on what to choose.
The Oregon legislative is moving forward with House Bill 2996. As a fellow Dental Assistant, I, Bonnie Marshall, RDA, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, MADAA, BS; am asking you to write letters and submit your testimony in opposition to House Bill 2996 now.
As your ODAA President, I am sending this opposition letter on behalf of the Oregon Dental Assistants Association to the proper committee members.
Below you will find
to your representative
to repeal the bill.
(Click Here for Writing Tips)
OBD Open Testimony Session
February 13, 2023
3:00 PM PST
Citizen Participation Information
CLICK HERE to download a PDF of House Bill 2996
PDF of HB 2996 Informational Flier
When a person is trying to acquire a driver’s license, they must take a written test to prove that they understand the rules of the road and safety issues prior to operating a car. Taking away the exam would allow people on the street driving without important knowledge necessary to be a successful and safe driver.
Now imagine a patient coming to the dental office for treatment. The operator comes to the waiting room and announces that they are ready for Mrs. Jones. As the patient walks back to the exam room the operator explains what x-rays the operator will be exposing. The patient does not question the treatment, the patient does not question if the operator has the skills or knowledge to perform the task, the patient just allows the operator to move forward and expose their radiographs. Why? Because the patient trusts that the operator and the dentist would not do anything to harm them. I too, want to believe that I am safe while being treated in my dental office and that I will not come to any harm; doesn’t everyone?
It is our responsibility as dental professionals to have the knowledge to perform all tasks in a safe manner and to make sure that our patients are receiving quality care. Ionizing radiation is accumulative and over time can cause harm. That is why we have strict rules regarding tanning beds, and we encourage everyone to wear sunscreen while being in the sun.
That is why we as professional dental assistants are charged with protecting our patients.
Ask your patients what they think about having an operator exposing them to ionizing radiation, without proving that they have the knowledge to complete the task, without doing harm.
A dentist and hygienist must have a license, but an on-the-job-trained dental assistant only has rules to guide them. If a dental assistant is allowed to preform treatment under “General Supervision”; without a dentist or hygienist being in the building, shouldn’t the rules at least state that the dental assistant must have the knowledge and that knowledge can be proven by successful passage of the Dental Radiation Health and Safety Exam prior to exposing radiographs on patients?
It is the responsibility of every dental professional to protect patients against excessive radiation.
As a patient, educator and as a dental assistant since 1985, I feel that we have a duty to speak out against the removal of the Dental Radiation Health and Safety Exam NOW!
I would like to encourage each of you to read my letter to the committee and form your own letter (writing tips here) regarding the opposition to House Bill 2996.
Thank you for your time in this important matter.
Bonnie Marshall, RDA, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, MADAA, BS
OBD Mission Statement:
“The Mission of the Oregon Board of Dentistry is to promote quality oral health care and protect all communities in the State of Oregon by equitably regulating dental professionals. The authority and responsibilities are obtained in the Oregon Statues.”
ODAA Mission Statement:
“The Oregon Dental Assistant’s purpose is to promote the careers of dental professionals which will enable the working individuals to promote safe and quality patient care. This Association will represent the dental assistant professionals in legislative activities, mandated health and safety regulations and provide progressive continuing education. The Oregon Dental Assistants Association membership services will provide information, resource and reference materials, publications and other benefits.”
The Oregon Dental Assistants Association is aware that there is a shortage of qualified dental assistants in Oregon. The shortage is not going to change if the rules and standards set forth by the Oregon Board of Dentistry (OBD), Division 42 Dental Assisting, are eliminated.
The shortage is not going to change if the rules and standards set forth... are eliminated.
Eliminating the rules or standards will allow unqualified people to provide dental care.
The standards in Division 42 were approved by the Board of Dentistry and dental professionals, serving the field of dentistry by providing safe and quality patient care for over 50 years. Providing standards for Dental Assistants, OBD is promoting oral health and protecting all patients in the field of dentistry as well as promoting the Oregon Radiation Protection Service Agency, ODAA and OBD Mission Statements.
The world has just gone through three years of uncertainty for dental offices, dental professional and health care facilities. As the world becomes more stable, we as dental professionals need to assure our patients that dentistry will provide quality care in a safe environment. Taking away rules and standards will not make a difference in the shortage of dental assistants. Eliminating the rules or standards will allow unqualified people to provide dental care. As dental professionals we owe it to our patients to provide quality care safely.
As dental professionals we owe it to our patients to provide quality care safely.
Oregon Dental Assistants and Division 42 are under attack!
X-rays in a dental office are being performed by a qualified dental assistant under General Supervision. “General Supervision means that a supervising dentist has examined and diagnosed the patient and provided subsequent instructions to be performed by the assistive personnel but does not require that the dentist be physically present in the treatment facility.” Patients understand that they can trust the person that is exposing their radiographs and that that person has the proper qualifications to do so without harm. Division 42 rules provide the proper direction for dental assistants to prove that they are qualified to successfully perform tasks where patients could otherwise be harmed by improper treatment. Division 42 requirements for dental assistants provide clarification on what can be done by qualified dental assistants to perform tasks on patients safely.
The Radiology Health and Safety Exam is the foundation for the dental assisting rules in Division 42. Eliminating standards will weaken the quality of care and safety for Oregon patients.
The following certificates require that a dental assistant hold a Certification of Radiologic Proficiency (OAR 818-042-0060), complete a course of instruction approved by the Oregon Board of Dentistry, successfully pass an exam, and successfully prove competency by completing tasks clinically:
However, a few Oregon Dentists have placed House Bill 2996 for consideration and if the Bill passes it will eliminate the required Radiology Exam, therefore jeopardizing patient quality of care and safety.
The ODAA does not think that changing or eliminating any of the rules set forth in Division 42 will solve the shortage concerns. If the rules are eliminated, it will likely increase the shortage and allow unqualified dental assistants to perform tasks on patients.
The real shortage started due to COVID-19 and has continued to increase with the lack of support for retention and education as well as not providing a living wage for Dental Assistants.
The OBD will be having a hearing soon to address this topic and I want to encourage you to come and speak out against the removal of the Radiology Health and Safety Exam. Please take the time to read House Bill 2996 and write to your representative in Salem to repeal the bill.
Professional Dental Assistants are an important part of the dental team who encourage and embrace standards and education in order to provide quality safe patient care for their patients.
Bonnie Marshall, RDA, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, MADAA, BS
to your representative
to repeal the bill.
Date/Time to be announced.
May this Christmas bring you many reasons to smile and count your blessings.
We hope you are able to share this wonderful time of year with those near and dear to your heart.
Merry Christmas from
Oregon Dental Assistants Association
We humans are not the only ones who get fuzzy teeth from not brushing. Most people are diligent in caring for their own oral hygiene, however, good dental care for our pets is just as important. Brushing their teeth regularly can help prevent heart disease, liver and kidney problems, especially as they age. Dental disease is a leading cause of death in cats and greatly affects dogs too. According to PetMeds, periodontal disease is an epidemic condition in dogs and cats, affecting almost 90% of adult pets.
If you’ve never been in the habit of brushing your pet’s teeth, it’s never too late to start! Be sure to start gradually and try to make it fun. If you have a new puppy or kitten, it is a perfect time to start the habit of brushing their teeth.
TIPS TO FOLLOW:
A dog and cat's mouth contains lots of bacteria. If possible, wear gloves while brushing your pet’s teeth. If this isn’t possible, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after you are finished. Always rinse the toothbrush thoroughly before putting it away. Replace the toothbrush every three months, and if you have several pets, us a different toothbrush for each one.
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