STATE AFFILIATE OF THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSISTANTS ASSOCIATION
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 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.
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 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
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.”
From the Executive Board of the Oregon Dental Assistants Association.
A special greeting of Thanksgiving.
Time to express to you our sincere appreciation
for your confidence and loyalty.
We are deeply thankful and extend to you our best wishes
for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day.
Cindy Phillips spent her life supporting her family, friends, the dentists she worked for and the patients she cared for. She continuously dedicated herself to the task at hand; dental assisting,teaching and training dental professionals to be the best they could be.
Cindy was diagnosed with cancer in October 2016. She bravely endured many rounds of treatment to live beyond the initial prediction of less than one year.
Cindy found gratification in making sure that every detail was addressed and that every student was given the opportunity to learn, even if it meant providing additional time outside the classroom. She was tough but kind and supportive to all. Many students were successful because of Cindy and her ability to help students understand difficult concepts. She was relentless in her dedication to making sure that all the students received the education they deserved.
Cindy spent many years of her life facing the challenges of being a dental assistant. She wanted more for the profession and especially those students who were committed to working hard. Dental assisting is a unique profession where one has the opportunity to provide support to the dentist and the dental patient but it requires a strong work ethic, something Cindy spoke of often and instilled in the students she taught.
Her family asks for donations in memory of Cindy to the Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund Business Account at any branch of On Point Credit Union. The Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship is meant to provide financial assistance to a student who aspires to become a professional dental assistant and has the qualities that Cindy demonstrated throughout her career; dedicated, committed, supportive, hard-working, kind,respectful and a rule follower.
If you think you fit this description and are wanting to become a dental assistant in the State of Oregon, please complete the attached application to be considered by the Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship Selection Committee.
Applications must be type-written and post marked no later than February 15, 2019.
Cindy Phillips Memorial Dental Assisting Scholarship.
The Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of Cindy Phillips, CDA, EFDA, AAS, a career dental assistant who was a dedicated health care provider, mentor and teacher. This scholarship honors Cindy and her commitment to dental assisting education and to students who believe in working hard to become a dental assistant; a career to be proud of.
This scholarship will be awarded to a student who is currently enrolled in a dental assisting program and is in “good standing” or has been accepted into a dental assisting program approved by the Cindy Phillips Memorial Dental Assisting Scholarship Committee.
To be considered for the Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship, applicants must:
• Be a high school graduate or hold a GED Certificate.
• Complete the scholarship application.
• Complete an in-person interview with the Scholarship Committee.
• Provide confirmation from an employer of at least 1 year of full-time (at least 35 hours per week) work experience within the past 5 years.
Applicants must submit the following materials:
1. Letter of Purpose and Intent
2. Completed and signed application and scholarship agreement
3. Two letters of recommendation from educator, employer, colleague, etc.
4. Dental Office observation confirmation letter with dentist signature (=>8 hours)
Once the applicant is selected, they must:
• Provide the name and contact information of the dental assisting program they are currently enrolled in or plan to apply for.
Award Selection and Amount
Once the applicant is selected the funds will be applied toward the approved Dental Assisting Program tuition and fees. The amount of this scholarship will be $500 to $1000.00.
All application materials must be submitted in one email (either as one PDF attachment or as multiple attachments to one email). The application, letter of purpose and intent and letters of recommendation must be typed. Handwritten materials will not be accepted other than the signature if you are unable to sign electronically. Incomplete applications (missing one or more of the application items) will not be considered. All scholarship materials must be submitted by February 15, 2019 to :email@example.com with the subject line titled, Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship.
Cindy Phillips Memorial Dental Assisting Scholarship
` (last) (First) (Middle)
(City) (State) (Zip code)
Email address_________________________ Cell phone ( )____________
If awarded the Cindy Phillips Memorial Dental Assisting Scholarship I understand and agree the funds are to be applied toward dental assisting education and fees.
Signature X____________________________Date X_________
Cindy Phillips Memorial Dental Assisting Scholarship
Letter of Purpose and Intent
Your letter of purpose and intent should describe your interest in becoming a dental assistant and why you believe this is a good career choice for you. (250 to 1000 type-written words)
It's hard to believe that this should even be discussed or questioned but evidently it needs to emphasized.
This article is by permission of Penwell Publishing and by
Tija Hunter, CDA, EFDA, CDIA, MADAA. Tija is an expanded functions dental assistant/office manager in O'Fallon, Missouri. She is the director of the Dental Careers Institute and a member of the American Dental Assistants Association, where she holds a Master. She is also an independent consultant specializing in team building, assistant training, and office organization.
Dental Office Infection Control Myth Busters: Handpieces
I've found that there is so much misinformation out there about infection control in the dental setting. Instead of relying on a good source for information, people tend to "do what they've always done", or, they hear something but never check to see if it's true.
A common myth I hear when I visit dental offices has to do with handpieces and whether they should be sterilized. I've been told, "This is a gray area and not something that has to be done." While it's true that the CDC is clear about handpiece sterilization, the CDC is not a regulatory agency. It doesn't make laws. Rather, it creates guidelines and comes up with recommendations.
I hear that people don't like handpieces to be sterilized because this will ruin the turbine, causing it to need to be replaced often. Turbines are tiny and expensive, so having to frequently change one not only costs money but leaves the office with one less handpiece. This can be a longer period of waiting if the turbines are sent out to be changed. Being short a handpiece is aggravating, to say the least.
What ruins the turbines is not the sterilization process itself, but rather the improper lubrication. There is no way any one of us can deliver lubrication, express the oil, and clean a handpiece the way a lubrication station does. The station delivers the precise amount of oil and cleaner, and using compressed air, it properly expels debris and excess oil while simultaneously lubricating the handpiece. This must be done after each use to ensure that our handpieces are properly lubricated before going through the sterilization process.
Remember that after use, handpieces should never be wiped down with disinfectant. All handpieces should be run under water and brushed with a soft brush to clean off any debris around the head and the fiberoptic light. Once this is completed, the handpiece can be placed in the lubrication station for processing.
When handpieces come out of the autoclave, yes, I realize we are sometimes in a hurry, and sometimes there aren't enough handpieces to go around. And here is a story I hear all too often. The autoclave "dings" and someone rushes to take out the handpiece. The person rips open the package runs the handpiece under cold water to cool it off before rushing it to the operatory to use. STOP! This is hard on the handpiece casing and can cause it to crack.
All instrument that are removed from the autoclave must go through every single cycle, including the drying cycle, before being removed. If you're short on instruments and find yourself cutting corners on infection control to get through the day, then you're doing it wrong. At that point, it's time to have a talk with the dentist abut the need for more instruments to do your jobs properly and deliver the best patient care.
Remember, there is only one way to do infection control and that's the right way!
When you want to go to the authorities on infection control, you need to go to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP). These are the people who set the guidelines for how we should clean, disinfect, and sterilize our surfaces, instruments and treatment rooms.
SUMMARY HIGHLIGHT FROM 2018 OREGON DENTAL CONFERENCEChemeketa dental assistant students and faculty enjoying the conference.
The Dental Conference was a great success thanks to many individuals who helped in so many ways. First of all was ODAA's Vice President who worked diligently putting our portion of the conference together - dignitaries and speakers. Thank you, Mary.
Cynthia Durley, M.Ed., MBA, DANB and the DALE Foundation
Stacy Bone, EFDA, 200hr YTT
Teresa Haynes, Oregon Board of Dentistry
Ginny Jorgensen, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, AAS
Mariah Kraner, MA, PhD, A-dec
Natalie Kaweckyj, LDA, RF, CDA, CDPMA, COA, COMSA, CPFDA, CRFDA, MADAA, BA
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