• 25 Jan 2019 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    JANUARY 2023


    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 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.

    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 and the safety of 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:

    1. EFDA
    2. EFODA
    3. Sealants
    4. Soft Reline
    5. Place retraction Material sub gingivally
    6. Restorative
    The Oregon Dental Assistants Association wants to thank OBD for recognizing the need for Chapter 818, Division 42, 818-042-0050, Rule 813-042-0050: Taking of X-rays- Exposing of Radiographic Images, as a way of promoting safety for all dental patients.

    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.

    Removal of the Radiology Health and Safety Exam will jeopardize 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.

    ODAA Opposes Oregon House Bill 2996!

    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

    ODAA President 


    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.”

  • 17 Dec 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    From the Executive Board of the Oregon Dental Assistants Association.

  • 16 Nov 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    ODAA Executive Board

  • 09 Nov 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    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.
    Application Criteria
    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.
    Applicant Submissions
    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)
    Selected Applicant
    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 with the subject line titled, Cindy Phillips Memorial Scholarship.

    Cindy Phillips Memorial Dental Assisting Scholarship
    Personal Data
    `               (last) (First) (Middle)
                     (Street/PO Box/Suite)
                     (City) (State) (Zip code)
    Email address_________________________ Cell phone (      )____________

    Scholarship Agreement
    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)

  • 14 Oct 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    The temperatures are dropping and crisp cool air is arriving.  The days become shorter and trees are changing color.  We notice orange and black Halloween decorations adorning yards and we are decorating our homes for the occasion.  It’s the perfect time to pass out toothbrushes along with a reminder on how to brush and floss after consuming that delicious candy.  We don’t want cavities!
    Maybe your educational reminder could include some terms and meanings – helping parents as well as children:
    • Plaque  -  PLAK
    • Bacteria  -  bak-TEER-ee-uh
    • Gingivitis  -  jin-juh-VI-tis
    We’re lucky that we know so much now about taking care of our teeth.  While you are brushing your teeth today, think about what people used long ago to clean teeth:
    • Ground-up chalk or charcoal
    • Lemon juice
    • Ashes
    • Tobacco and honey mixed together
    It was only about 100 years ago that someone created a minty cream to help clean teeth.  Not long after that, the toothpaste tube was invented, made of metal.  Tooth brushing became popular during World War II.  The U.S. Army gave brushes and toothpaste to all soldiers, and they learned to brush twice a day. 
    Other topics you might want to add to your “reminder”.
    • Toothpaste the size of a pea is all that is needed. 
    • Brush at least twice a day.  After breakfast and before bedtime are usually good times.
    • Brush all your teeth not just the front ones.
    • Spend at least 2 to 3 minutes each time you brush.  A little timer might be helpful.
    • Depending on the child’s age and dexterity they can learn to floss properly.
    • Gentle brushing of the tongue
    • Visit their dentist twice a year.
    • Be diet mindful.  Lots of fruits and vegetables and water instead of soda.
    These ideas should help make happy smiles.

  • 20 Jul 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

     Sheila Pulanco Russell's Facebook Post to the Wise...

    It’s definitely summer time and many of you are anxious for a vacation or even just a few days off.  After all, you have worked hard and could use a little rest and relaxation. 
    Have you ever come home from a vacation, lengthy seminar, dental conference or maybe a weekend away with the family and noticed your digital clocks flashing the wrong time?
    You quickly realize that you had a power outage while you were away, but it’s basically impossible to tell when it occurred or how long it lasted.  It’s therefore also impossible to tell just how long the food in your freezer may have thawed, gotten destroyed, and then frozen again…………Or is it?
    In connection with Hurricane Matthews that swept over parts of the United States, a woman named Sheila Pulanco Russell shared a clever trick on her Facebook wall with anyone who was forced to evacuate their home. But the trick is also good to know in case of any prolonged departure from your home – and will ease your mind about whether or not the food in your freezer is good to eat – or best be thrown out. 
    The trick lies in the magical combination of three simple but effective tools everyone already has at home:  a mug, a coin and some tap water.

    The great tip is called “the one cup tip”.  You put a cup of water in your freezer.  Freeze it solid and then put a quarter on top of it and leave it in your freezer.  That way when you come back you can tell if your food went completely bad and just refroze or if it stayed frozen while you were gone.  

    If the quarter has fallen to the bottom of the cup that means all of the food defrosted and you should throw it out.  If the quarter is either on the top or in the middle of the cup,  then your food may still be okay.  

    It would also be a great idea to leave this in your freezer all the time and if you lose power for any reason you will have this tip to fall back on.  


    Have a safe and fun summer!

  • 22 Jun 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    The fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, celebrates the day that America declared its independence from Great Britain.

    The fourth of July was officially declared a federal holiday in 1941, but the country has celebrated this day since Thursday July 4, 1776.  It’s a day to spend celebrating patriotism with a wide range of activities;  firework displays, parades, concerts and barbecues.

    The United States celebrates with fireworks as a tradition continued down through history since the initial year.  Thirteen fireworks were set off to symbolize the 13 states of the union.  It evolved as more states joined the union.

    The main signees who drafted the Declaration of Independence were Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams.

    Thomas Jefferson – the principal author.  Jefferson’s memorandum books indicate that dental care was a regular part of his routine.  When 81 years old, Jefferson reported to a friend that he had lost only one tooth, with “the rest continuing sound”.

    Benjamin Franklin – History tells us that a tooth was pulled from the mouth of Benjamin Franklin sometime between 1706 – 1790.  The tooth is inside a gold acorn with some loose fibrous packing around it.  The tooth is broken in at least two parts but has been identified as probably a lower left second molar.  Apparently one side of the tooth was broken off, possibly before it was pulled.  This acorn-tooth was passed down through his many generations.
    John Adams – the second U.S. President March 4, 1797 to March 4, 1801.  When Adams lost his teeth, he refused to wear false ones.  As a result, he had a lisp when speaking.  In later years Adams had trouble speaking. 

    56 Delegates eventually signed the Declaration of Independence. 

    The Executive Board of the ODAA wish you and your family a happy and healthy July 4th.

  • 18 May 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    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.

  • 11 May 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

  • 20 Apr 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    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.

    It has been several years since we have had representation from Central Office of the American Dental Assistants Association,  the Dental Assisting National Board and the DALE Foundation.  A luncheon hosted by ODAA, DANB, and the DALE Foundation celebrated the work of dental assistants and the value they bring to dental practices and the oral health of the community.  Following the luncheon a educational panel was presented in segments by:

    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

    All giving insights and opportunities available for dental assistants.
    Another note of gratitude is extended to Katie Gander, ODAA's Executive Assistant, who was able to give support at the courtesy table in the foyer.  And to speaker hosts for their loyal support and assistance.  Lynn Murray, Bonnie Marshall, and Mary Harrison.  All are needed and so much appreciated.
    Presenters Dr's Judah Garfinkle and Daniel Petrisor were very well received.  Excellent comments by all who attended.
    The raffle was another highlight with many trying their luck but unfortunately everyone who tried could not have the winning ticket.   The Insta Pot was won by Ginny Jorgensen of Canby.  All proceeds are to be presented to Smile Oregon to ensure every child in Oregon affected by a cleft or other craniofacial condition has access to the coordinated care they deserve.

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