• 21 Jul 2020 1:14 PM | Anonymous

    I hope you had the opportunity to view the ADAA live Facebook webinar on June 17th, 2020.  It was phenomenal with so much information being shared.  Presenting was Tija Hunter, Sherrie Busby, Robynn Rixse and Sarah Stream.

    I certainly can’t repeat everything that was said but I would like to share some specific topics that were discussed and you can review each of them via:  CDC, ADA, OSAP, OSHA and ADAA.

    • As of May 19, 2020 the CDC and ADA published information in both English and Spanish on staying safe when returning to work.  Everyone who enters your office should be screened – not just patients.  This includes the mailperson, supply company sales reps, FedEx - - yes, everybody.  There is a Screening Form available upon request that can give you assistance if needed.  Temperatures of 100.4 or higher should be turned away and 100 or above for teens.  

    • What do we do when we walk out of the office at the end of the work day?  Get in our car, stop at the grocery store, start a load of wash before starting dinner.  All outside clothing should be removed before leaving the office.  Everything that could be laundered should be left at the office, even our socks.  If not we can contaminate our car and everything that is touched.  Shoes should stay at the office or wear booties.  Follow the OSHA laundry protocol.  Head coverings are also recommended along with shoe coverings. 

    • Masks are a must and don’t become complaisant. Cover the nose!  Earrings are also a source of contamination.  

    •  It’s important to stay hydrated when wearing masks.  You are breathing your own carbon dioxide and anxiety and high blood pressure can form. It can be detrimental to an assistant with COPD.

    • If a mask becomes damp, wicking will develop and not be affective past that point.

    • An N-95 mask should be fit tested but it isn’t always possible.  The N-95 provides the most protection when working with aerosols.  If an N-95 is not available to you, use a #3 mask and over lay with a face shield.  

    • There is controversy about allowing a room to rest 15 to 25 minutes before disinfecting, allowing aerosols to drop.

    I hope this has given you some things to think about.  Please be safe………

    Linda Kihs, CDA, EFDA, OMSA, MADAA

    ODAA President

  • 16 Jun 2020 1:16 PM | Anonymous

    Tija Hunter, CDA, reminds her peers that rushing back to work, no matter how much you miss your patients and income, is not a good idea until some things are corrected in dental practices.

    By Tija Hunter, CDA, EFDA

    Apr 23rd, 2020

    I’m so tired of being off work due to COVID-19. Can’t we just go back to work and stop this madness?

    No! We can’t go back to work for a couple of reasons.

    We have some pretty strict infection control practices in dentistry, but do we follow them like we are supposed to? Many times, when I visit an office to perform an assessment, (part of my job is to help offices become compliant in infection control), I see many things that are not quite right. When I see this I always go back to: you don’t know what you don’t know! This means offices do not intentionally do anything wrong, they just haven’t been trained in proper infection control.

    Sometimes when I visit offices, staff members tell me, “I just had OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) training, and we didn’t learn any of this.” I tell them, “No, because infection control isn’t OSHA.” Many confuse the two, but they’re very different. Like the name, OSHA is occupational safety, meaning it is there to protect workers—you! Infection control has a broader range because it protects both you and your patients—the public! When you use proper infection control and sterilization techniques to clean surfaces and instruments, you do not have to worry about spreading this virus. Note I say “properly.”

    Also, COVID-19 spreads mainly through airborne particles, such as coughing and sneezing. It also spreads through aerosols such as those seen in dental offices when using a handpiece or ultrasonic cleaner.

    What about our personal protective equipment (PPE)? Is it enough? Can we do anything differently? I believe our PPE is going to come under fire in the dental profession during the next few months. I believe what we wear will be significantly different in order to protect ourselves post-COVID-19.

    What about those waterlines? Even if your office is seeing only emergency patients, offices aren’t using many of their operatories, therefore, leaving the water in the lines leads to stagnation. Right before you begin seeing patients again, you’ll need to shock your dental unit waterlines to ensure there is no biofilm buildup in the lines. If you aren’t shocking regularly, this should become part of the infection control protocol for your office and should be done quarterly, but especially now that ops have been unattended for a long time. If you don’t know the protocol, email me at and I’ll be happy to help!

    What we need to do right now is simply stay home! I realize this is a crazy time and most of us need our jobs. However, we need to heal as a nation and throughout the world. I beg you to listen to the warnings and not go into work. I hope your practices are seeing only emergency patients and that none of you are going in your offices due to fear of losing your jobs.

    We’re still learning about this virus! There is no vaccine (as of this writing), and we’re just beginning to experiment with vaccines and drug treatment. But, what about the next round? Many predictions believe there will be another outbreak this fall. While we still don’t know all of the changes that are coming post-COVID-19, our dental practices can keep a watchful eye out to make sure we stay on top of things!

    Want to learn more about infection control in the dental office? Now is the perfect time to visit the website for the Organization for Safety Asepsis and Prevention at and educate yourself.

    Tija Hunter, CDA, EFDA, CDIA, CDSO, CDSH, MADAA, is a member and current vice president of the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA), where she holds the honor of Master. Tija is the editor of Dental Assisting Digest and contributes to Dental Economics magazine. She is the director of the Dental Careers Institute, a dental assisting and dental continuing education program, and the author of seven continuing education study courses. She is an international speaker and a certified trainer in nitrous oxide in several states. Tija was named one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry by Dental Products Report magazine in 2015. She can be reached at

  • 19 May 2020 12:32 PM | Anonymous

    More than one donning and doffing method may be acceptable to your facility.  The method listed below is recommended by the CDC. Good information as a reminder, especially at this time.


    1. Gather your PPE

      • Isolation gown
      • NIOSH approved N-95 filtering face piece respirator or appropriate face mask
      • Face shield or goggles
      • Disposable gloves
    2. Use hand sanitizer or wash with soap and water for 20 seconds

    3. Put on isolation gown and tie at the neck and waist.

    4. Put on the N-95 respirator or face mask.

    5. Perform a user skill check.

      • Cover the surface of the respirator with your hands and exhale.  The face piece should bulge slightly.
      • Take in a quick breath and the mask should collapses slightly.
      • If air escapes then re-adjust
    6. Put on face shield or goggles.

    7. Use hand sanitizer or wash with soap and water for 20 seconds.

    8. Put on gloves.  They should cover over the wrist of the gown.


    1. Remove and discard your gloves.  For the glove-in-glove method.

      • Pinch the outside of the one glove near the wrist pulling downward, wrong side out
      • Slide a finger underneath the ungloved hand pulling down – inside out.
      • Discard
      • Remove your gown.  Roll downward away from the body and dispose.
    2. Hand sanitize or wash with soap and water paying close attention to where the glove met the gown.
    3. Carefully remove the shield, pulling upward and outward being careful to not touch the face shield or goggles.
    4. Remove and discard the respirator or face mask by the straps being careful in not touching the facial portion.
    5. Wash thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • 15 Apr 2020 12:15 PM | Anonymous

    Dental practices around the country are overwhelmed with questions regarding the unknown.  Being out of work with bills to pay can certainly be cause for anxiety and concern.  

    The love that is showing up in generous acts around the world though is testimony to the power of empathy of our humanity.  Each day when the growing numbers of those who lost their battle against the virus are announced, we shed a tear and grieve for those families.  As you say your prayer each night, remember hospital workers, emergency response teams, truck drivers; and the clerks who keep the shelves stocked as best they can.  Mail carriers, internet technicians and all the others who put their lives on the line each day so we can be cared for, fed and connected. Those prayers and thoughts of gratitude promote hope, faith and love.  

    Many of you were counting on the Oregon Dental Conference for obtaining your continuing education credits for the year.  Don’t forget about the continuing education available to you online:  

    • American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA)

    • Dental Assistant National Board (DANB)




    to name a few.

    Stay strong and hold to the intention that you will receive exactly what you need.  Fuel it with faith and positive thoughts and then let your creativity and action take you towards that goal.  

    Blessings to all ~

    Linda Kihs, CDA, EFDA, OMSA, MADAA

    ODAA President

  • 18 Feb 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it appears we may experience a higher than normal demand for infection control products such as masks, goggles, and face shields among other items.  

    However, this should not cause us to be more lax about how we use a mask or for saving them and using them on multiple patients.  A common misuse of facemasks, is after a procedure, placing it around the neck or under the chin and even taking it off and placing it into a gown pocket with the intention of reusing it again.  This act requires the health care worker to touch the outside of the contaminated mask with either their bare hands or gloves.  Now contaminates on the mask are in contact with the skin on the neck or chin of the dental team member.  Masks should be removed and discarded after each patient by only the ties, bands or loops, along with the exam gloves.  

    Beginning with the initial 1978 American Dental Association published document, every series of ADA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention infection control guidelines for dentistry has included recommendations for wearing face masks as  key components of personal protection against airborne pathogens.  The 1991 Occupational Health and Safety Administration Bloodborne Pathogens Standard also included a regulation stating:  “Masks in combination with eye protection devices, with solid side shields or a face shield, shall be worn whenever splashes, spray, spatter, or droplets of blood or other potentially infectious materials may be generated and eye, nose, or mouth contamination can be reasonably anticipated.”

    Specific features should be evaluated when selecting a mask:

    1. it should not come into contact with the wearer’s nostrils or lips

    2. has a high bacterial filtration efficiency rate

    3. fits snugly around the entire periphery

    4. does not cause fogging of eyewear

    5. is made of a fabric that does not irritate skin or induce an allergic reaction

    6. is comprised of a material that does not collapse when worn or when wet

    7. is easy to put on and remove

    Wet masks should be changed every 20 minutes when challenged during procedures that generate heavy levels of spatter and aerosols, after 60 minutes in non-aerosol environments and certainly after each patient.  Keep in mind, no mask can filter out 100% of all aerosolized particles.

    The American Society of Testing and Materials is the organization responsible for establishing criteria and testing methods to delineate performance specifications for face masks used in healthcare.  Masks are generally classified into 3 types:

    • Level 1 masks are designed for procedures with low amounts of blood, fluid, spray and/or aerosol exposure.  Common clinical examples include patient exams, operatory cleaning, impressions, lab trimming and orthodontic work.

    • Level 2 masks are ideal for procedures where moderate to light amounts of fluid, spray and/or aerosols are produced.  Restoratives, prophylaxis, sealants, limited oral surgery and endodontic treatment.  

    • Level 3 masks are designed for procedures with moderate to heavy amounts of blood, fluid, spray and/or aerosol exposure.  High barrier protection is needed for procedures such as implant placement, crown preparation, and periodontal or complex oral surgery.

    So lets all be safe – not sorry.


    • Defend blog

    • Oral Health Group

    • Dental Economics

    • Dentistry IQ

  • 19 Nov 2019 12:00 AM | Anonymous
    Photo is compliments of Karlene Gande


    A fallen leaf is summer's wave goodbye.............

    Fall is officially here.  The falling leaves are turning brilliant shades of red, orange, brown, gold and yellow.  Farmers markets are selling pumpkins and gourds and coffee shops selling spiced coffee and pumpkin donuts.  The days and nights are cooling and daylight hours start to shorten.
    As Thanksgiving approaches, give thought to all we have to be thankful for.  Our health, loving families, close friends and .....ohhh so much more.
    ODAA's Fall Business Meeting and our next years Planning Session has been completed as well as the first of the normal Executive Board meetings.  We have added two new members to our Board and a complete listing of officers and committee chairs can be found on our website:
    My thanks to the entire Executive Board for their tireless efforts, time, ideas and assistance in all they do to help our association in all we do to serve fellow dental assistants and dentistry as a whole. 
                                                     Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to all ~
                                                     Linda Kihs, CDA, EFDA, OMSA, MADA
                                                     ODAA President

  • 16 Aug 2019 12:00 AM | Anonymous
                Are you interested in serving as an ODAA officer or on a committee?  If so, your name must be submitted to the ODAA Nominating Committee by September 15, 2019.  Secure a nominating form from the committee chairman, Bonnie Marshall,
    503-209-8450 or
                The offices of President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer are open for nominations as well as specific Chairs.   Only an active or life member of this association shall be eligible to serve.  A complete list of duties for each office and chair can be found in our Bylaws and Policy Statements on the website. 
                All nominees must be eligible for the position nominated and meet all qualifications for that position.  The nominee must be willing to serve and fulfill the position nominated as well as the time commitment required. 
                Annual reports from this past years officers and committee chairs are available upon request.

  • 23 Jun 2019 12:00 AM | Anonymous
    I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the graduating dental assistant students and instructors at Chemeketa Community College for inviting me to attend their year end good/bye party.  I was deeply honored and it was a privilege to share with them the benefits of retaining their American Dental Assistants Association/Oregon Dental Assistants Association membership as well as the importance of Dental Assistant National Board Certification.
    A buffet brunch was served and dental related games were played.  The ODAA donated a dental related watch as a drawing.  Monica Luna was the recipient as shown here accepting the gift.

    Carissa Reeder accepted the distinguished Chemeketa Dental Assisting Student Achievement Award.  She is pictured here with one of her instructors, Lynn George, and by the display case where the names of past honored students hang in commemoration. 

    Congratulations to all dental assistant students.  You have accomplished a great deal this past year and your achievement is complimented.  Best wishes to each of you for a bright and happy future.
                                                            Most sincerely,
                                                            Linda Kihs, CDA, EFDA, OMSA,   MADAA
                                                            ODAA President

  • 22 May 2019 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    SSG Kym Gooddell (previously an ODAA officer) with husband John.

    Memorial Day, what does it mean to you?  For me, it meant carrying on the time honored tradition of my family.  My grandparents served, my great uncle served, and many of the men that meant something in my life served.  So why not a woman.  I was strong and proud and a great dental assistant.  I could do both!
    But let me back up.
    When I first went in, I was not a dental assistant, I was a patient administration specialist.  It was a good job, but it wasn't for me.  So, it really didn't bother me when, during the Clinton administration the downsizing came and I was discharged.  Yes, I am old.
    So, I struggled for a few years to find myself and figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
    I went to college at Linn Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon under the best instructors in the world and became an E.F.D.A. certified dental assistant.  Then I re-enlisted in the Oregon National Guard. 
    I am now a senior enlisted dental sergeant and looking for more dental technician to join my team.  The army needs dental technicians.
    This is my way of thanking my grandparents, my uncle and my friends for their sacrifices.  I continue on with the mission.  Most made it back home, some did not.  But my job is to carry on and help do my part for my country.  I ask no questions, I go where I must for my other Soldiers.  I am here to help them.
    So during this Memorial Day, think of all the Soldiers you could be taking care of right now.  Think about all the Soldiers you know and who is taking care of them. 
    God bless and God speed.
    SSG Kym Goodell
    Oregon Medical Command
    Oregon National Guard


  • 19 Apr 2019 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    April 2019

    Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship

    It is with great pleasure we announce the first annual recipient of the Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship. Clackamas Community College Dental Assisting Student, Brigida Reinhart, has received a $500.00 scholarship from the fund established last year after the unfortunate passing of Cindy in August.
    Brigida is a dedicated, determined woman who “…thrives on making people happy…”. She worked as a grade school teacher for 3 years prior to her decision to change career paths.  She exudes kindness and a caring attitude that will definitely benefit her future dental patients and the practice in which she is ultimately employed.
    Brigida, her husband, 2-year old son, mother and aunt accompanied her to the private ceremony in which she was presented the $500.00 check to be used for her dental assisting education.
    Brigida brought each one of the scholarship committee members a gift of Forget Me Not flower seeds, soil and a small tooth planter. Cindy’s daughters shared with us this was one of their mothers favorites.
    It was quickly apparent that Brigida is exactly the type of person and student who Cindy would have approved for this scholarship. It was mentioned by Cindy’s daughters at the ceremony, that Cindy was able to attend a dental assisting program due to a scholarship she received herself.
    The Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship Committee includes Cindy’s daughters, Shannon Gonzalez and Melissa Watson, colleague and friends, Ginny Jorgensen, Mary Harrison and Stacy Bone.
    The following website has been established.
    Donations can be made by the click of the “donate” button and are greatly appreciated. Applications are available for the 2020 scholarship.
    Thank you.

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