• 15 Mar 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    Celebrating the Value of Dental Assistants

    Join the Oregon Dental Assistants Association, DANB and the DALE Foundation as we celebrate the work of dental assistants and the value they bring to dental practices and the oral health community. Network with peers and enjoy a three-course buffet lunch during the Oregon Dental Conference. 

    Thursday, April 5th, 2018
    Oregon Convention Center, Rooms F150-151
    11:30 AM - Registration and Networking
    12:00 PM - Luncheon 

    Advanced registration and ticket purchase is required to attend this luncheon. Space is limited and the event will sell out. Purchase your ticket today. Register by 3/22 and receive a DALE Foundation gift bag that includes a certificate for $10 off the DANB ICE Review, DANB ICE Practice Test, DANB RHS Review, DANB RHS Practice Test, or Understanding CDC’s Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings.


  • 16 Feb 2018 12:05 AM | Anonymous

  • 16 Feb 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    Dental Assisting continues to diversify and expand.  Whether working chairside with the dentist, exposing and processing radiographs, managing the business office, teaching or working in insurance, or as a sales representative, dental assistants are vital to the success of the dental practice.  Contributing to quality dental care, today's dental assistants are role models of professional development, strengthening the entire dental team and enhance patient comfort and satisfaction throughout the world. 
    Dental Assistants Recognition Week is scheduled March 4 - 10, 2018.  A week long tribute to the commitment and dedication dental assistants exhibit throughout the year. 
    "Dental Assistants:  Advancing the Profession through Collaboration and Leadership"  is the theme for this years annual Dental Assistants Recognition Week:  time for dental assistants to receive greater recognition for their own unique and diverse contributions to the dental profession and the dental health care of the public. 
    Dental Assistants Recognition Week is sponsored by the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) and the Professional Dental Assistants Education Foundation (PDAEF). 
    I hope your class will have time to plan a fun activity.  Join us in observing Dental Assistants Recognition Week 2018!

  • 25 Jan 2018 12:00 AM | Anonymous

  • 29 Dec 2017 12:00 AM | Anonymous

  • 17 Nov 2017 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    Here in America, we have a long tradition of thanksgiving. It began in 1621 when the first settlers declared a day of thanksgiving in gratitude to God for His bountiful provision of the fall harvest. Although it was not one big meal but meals(s) that went on for a week. In between those meals, the story tells, of how they played games, sang and danced. The Wampunoag people and chief Ousamequin had taught the settlers how to plant crops and helped them through their first winter. Their meals were not as we consider a standard Thanksgiving meal but most likely consisted of: duck or other waterfowl, venison, samp (a kind of porridge or corn-based oatmeal), seafood, cabbage, onions, corn and squash. Definitely no cranberry sauce or masked potatoes and gravy.

    Then during George Washington's first year as president, he recognized a day of thanksgiving for the nation. Our current Thanksgiving holiday became official in 1863 during President Lincoln's tenure.

    Amongst the feasting, football and early Christmas shopping, we shouldn't lose sight of the original purpose for the holiday---to be thankful.

    Happy Thanksgiving from everyone on the ODAA Executive Board. We are so grateful for each of you---are members. We hope you will have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday and you in turn will be a blessing to your patients, family, friends and everyone you encounter as we enter in to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

    Linda Kihs, CDA, EFDA, OMSA, MADAA

    ODAA President

  • 13 Oct 2017 12:00 AM | Anonymous


    We in the dental field know that poor dental care can lead to cavities but how often do we think about other more serious health problems that can result from poor oral hygiene. 

    • Endocarditis.  Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart (endocardium).  Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
    • Cardiovascular disease.  Research suggests that inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream and travel to the arteries in the heart and cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).  Atherosclerosis causes plaque to develop on the inner walls of arteries which thicken and this decreases or may block blood flow through the body, raising blood pressure.  There is also a risk that fatty plaque will break off the wall of a blood vessel and travel to the heart or the brain.  This can cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
    • Dementia.  The bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through either nerve channels in the head or through the bloodstream, that might lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease. 
    • Respiratory infections.  The Journal of Periodontology warns that gum disease could cause one to get infections in their lungs, including pneumonia. While the connection might not be completely obvious at first, think of what might happen from breathing in bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a long period of time.
    • Diabetic complications.  Inflammation that starts in the mouth seems to weaken the body's ability to control blood sugar.  People with diabetes have trouble processing sugar because of a lack of insulin, the hormone that converts sugar into energy.  Diabetes sufferer are also more susceptible to periodontal disease, causing the impairment of the body's ability to utilize insulin.  Thus, the making proper dental care even more important for those with this disease. 
    • Oral health and pregnancy.  Babies born too early or at a low birth weight often have significant heath problems, including lung conditions, heart conditions, and learning disorders.  While many factors can contribute to premature or low birth weight deliveries, researchers are looking at the possible role of gum disease.  Bacteria that causes dental caries can be transmitted through the bloodstream from the mouth to other parts of the body, including the placenta, and contribute to the development of serious systemic diseases.
    • Osteoporosis.  The link between periodontitis and osteoporosis is controversial however osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle.  This might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.
    • HIV/AIDS.  Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS. 
    • Alzheimer's disease.  Tooth loss before age 35 might be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. 
    • Pancreatic cancer.  Researchers have known for years that poor oral health, including bleeding gums and lots of missing teeth, is associated with a higher risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Now they are finding that certain bacteria linked to that periodontal disease may be behind the connection.  Research recently released showed that two species of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, were associated with a sharply increased risk of getting pancreatic cancer. The data showed that carrying both bacteria was linked to a 50 percent increased likelihood of contracting the cancer, said Jiyoung Ahn, associate director of population sciences at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center.
    • Other conditions.  Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include Sjorgren's syndrome - an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth and eating disorders.

    Research shows that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations.  Years ago, a physician who suspected heart disease would probably not refer the patient to a dentist.  The same went for diabetes, pregnancy or just about any other medical condition.  Times have changed.  The past 5 to 10 years have seen ballooning interest in possible links between mouth health and body health. 


    • WebMD
    • Academy of General Dentistry
    • E-newsletter
    • Colgate
    • Washington Post

    Submitted by:

    Linda Kihs, CDA, EFDA, OMSA, MADAA

  • 11 Oct 2017 12:00 AM | Anonymous


    ODAA's Annual Fall Business meeting will be held Saturday October 21, 2017 at the Portland Community College campus beginning at 9:00 a.m.  Directions and room number will be forwarded upon notice of your desire to attend.  All are invited to attend.
    Specific matters of business that will be discussed and voted upon are as follows: 
    • Election of officers
    • Chairperson for standing committees
    • Proposed budget
    • Delegates and Alternates
    If you are interested in serving in one of these capacities please notify Bonnie Marshall at 503-209-8450.  She will need to know your name, title, address, employment status, as well as your commitment to serve.

    For questions or comments you can regularly reach us at...
    PO Box 18305
    Salem, Oregon 97305

  • 17 Sep 2017 12:00 AM | Anonymous

    September is Dental Infection Control Awareness Month, as designated by the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP).

    To Reuse or Not to Reuse...That is the question!

    Dental assistants are responsible for so many important functions in the dental office that it would require a 5-inch thick, tabbed binder to list them all so I'm going to direct the attention of this article to just one; when to reuse and when not to reuse dental products.
    I began my dental assisting career in the day when PPE were only worn by construction workers, cold sterile was the most frequently used method for processing instruments between patient use and we reused everything except cotton products. 
    It is refreshing to witness that in 2017 safety and infection prevention in the dental office has been elevated to a much higher standard than in 1972. 
    So where do we start?  There is so much information about infection prevention that it is difficult for a private dental practice to keep up and stay abreast of the current research, standards, guidelines and recommendations.  It becomes overwhelming for many.  What do you really need to know?  My suggestion is to be familiar with and have a copy of each of the following:  Oregon OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (OAR 437, Division 2, General Occupational Safety and Health Rules, Subdivision Z -Toxic and Hazardous Substances, CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings - 2003, CDC Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings - 2016, and Oregon Board of Dentistry, Division 12, Standards of Practice, 818-012-0040 - Infection Control Guidelines.  Although these are the main resources for dental infection prevention safety standards and guidelines there are many others that are reliable.  Check out the Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures (OSAP), the new CDC mobile Dental App and Dr. Chris Miller's 6th edition of Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team. 
    My second suggestion is to always read the manufacturers' instructions.  Instructions for use (IFU'S) should be easily accessible for anyone using the equipment or product.  Whenever a new product is received the IFU's should be read and discussed with all the providers and staff that will be preparing, measuring, cleaning, disinfecting, sterilizing, disposing or storing the product or equipment.         
    I have heard some dental assistants claim they did not know a cleaning solution should be run through the sterilizer every month or that many burs are not reusable.  I have heard a few indicate it is okay to immerse the plastic HVE tips into high-level disinfectant ("cold sterile") for 10 hours and then rinse and reuse them.  A dentist once indicted that, "If you do not touch the outside of a mask you can reuse it."...WHAT????  There are many other examples of this misinformation that can be found in dental practices everywhere.  These comments are obviously not made by dental assistants alone.  Often the dentist is unaware of the IFU and may pass on incorrect information.  Or a new inexperienced dental sales representative may not have shared correct information. 
    Dental professionals are anything but lazy, they are committed to providing the best care to their patients and most are exhausted at the end of the work day.  The excuse is they have not had time to read the IFU's.  It is very important there is time allotted for reviewing the use of new items.  In fact, OSHA states there must be training when new equipment, products or procedures are introduced into the dental practice.  For every piece of equipment and product that enters the dental office, time should be allowed for reading the IFU's and becoming familiar with the contents.  Even if the sales representative explains its' use, it is the responsibility of the end user to know the facts. 
    What about the burs.  Are they reusable?  Can they be sterilized?  What does the manufacturer recommend? The terms you must look for on the package or in the IFU's are:  Single use, disposable, not for reuse, one time use only, etc.  If the IFU's do not provide instructions for cleaning, disinfecting or sterilizing it means they are considered single use only; after use on one patient they should be disposed into the sharps container. 
    Dr. John Molinari, Director of Infection Control for The Dental Advisor states, "...multiple considerations support the practice of disposing burs after use...eliminate the risk of patient-to-patient cross-infection as burs may not be bioburden (microbe-laden debris) free after reprocessing...time-consuming cleaning and sterilization procedure can be eliminated.  Most bur and diamond companies now offer low-cost disposable burs that lower the cost of purchase to the point that it is more economical to discard them than to sterilize them. 
    Here is another interesting article regarding a study of burs and endodontic files.  The results of the study indicate..."dental burs and endodontic files are not sterile when purchased and should be cleaned and sterilized before use.  Routine sterilization procedures for previously used burs and files were not effective, and further research is warranted to devise an effective sterilization protocol."

    Composite Compule Tips are sold as single use although I have witnessed many who wipe them with alcohol or disinfectant when composite material remains in the Compule Tip.  This left-over composite is then used on a future patient.  Disposing would be expensive and wasteful?
    The TPH Spectra Universal Composite instructions state the following:
                Cross-contamination of Compule Tips:

    • After intraoral use do not reuse Compule Tips
    • Properly dispose the intraorally used and/or contaminated Compules Tips in accordance with local regulations.

    Items you probably wipe with disinfectant every day may run the risk of cross contamination.  For example, the FDA has posted this article on their website.

    So, the answer to the question, "Use or Reuse?"  is really very simple; follow the manufacturers IFU's.  If the instructions do not include how to process the item for reuse then follow the instructions for disposal.
    Ginny Jorgensen, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, AAS
    Smith & Jorgensen Dental Consulting
    Comments or questions - contact Ginny at
    About the Author...
    Ginny began her dental assisting career as an orthodontic and general chairside assistant. After 18 years of clinical experience she was employed for 6 years as a Dental Training Specialist for Kaiser Permanente Dental Program.  Ginny graduated from Portland Community College with an Associate Degree in Professional Technical Education and was a full time clinical dental assisting instructor at Portland Community College from 1998 to 2013.
    She is an approved speaker on Bloodborne Pathogens for the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL), and the owner of Smith & Jorgensen Dental Consulting, a firm that provides current infection control, audits and compliance training for dental professionals.
    Ginny served as a founding member on The Dental Auxiliary Learning Education (DALE) Foundation Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2017.  She is currently an Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures (OSAP) member and serves on the DANB/OSAP Infection Control Certificate Certification Steering Committee.
    Additionally, Ginny served on the Dental Assisting National Board’s (DANB) Orthodontic Assisting Test Construction Committee from 1988 to 1992, and the DANB Infection Control Test Construction Committee from 1999 to 2005.
    Ginny’s main goal is to provide current “Best Practice” infection control trends for her clients and how to implement these trends into an efficient, safe working environment for dental professionals and their patients.
    Ginny Jorgensen, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, AAS

  • 13 Aug 2017 12:00 AM | Anonymous


    What should we tell our patients about the hazards of vaping and/or e-cigarettes? 

    Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling a water vapor produced by a vaping device or e-cigarette.  The use of nicotine vaporizers (vaping) and e-cigarettes is one of the newest trends in the adult population although it appears to be increasing among the middle and high school populations.  They may not be considering the long-term risks on their oral and overall health. 

    The first smokeless non-tobacco cigarette device was patented in 1967 by Herbert A. Gilbert.  In 2003, Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, was credited with creating the first "modern" e-cigarette.  In 2007, e-cigarettes were introduced to the American market.

    Although vapors from e-cigarettes can contain up to 450 times lower toxic substances in the body than smoke inhalation from a regular cigarette, many people believe that it is a healthier alternative.  However studies are now showing how damaging vaping can be to the oral tissue and to the body as a whole.

                "Canadian researchers did a lab study that looked at the effects of vaping for 15 minutes a day on the lining of the mouth.  The results showed that the cell lining of the mouth were dying at a much greater rate than normal. The typical rate that mouth cells die is about 2%.  But that number jumped to 53% after three consecutive days of exposure to vaping."­­­­­­­­­

                "Another study from the University of Rochester found that vaping damages the gum tissue just as much as tobacco cigarettes.  The vapors from an e-cigarette are heated and when inhaled come in contact with the oral cavity causing the cells in the mouth to release inflammatory proteins.  This aggravates stress within these cells and results in damage that could lead to various oral diseases."

    The negative effects of vaping can be:

    • Xerostomia or dry mouth
    • Dry skin
    • Rash/burning sensation of the face, nasal and/or respiratory tract
    • Itchiness
    • Puffy dry eyes
    • Caffeine sensitivity
    • Stomatitis - an oral inflammation or ulcers located in the mouth, typically on the palate.  This condition looks like dark colored pin pricks and can be sensitive.
    • Minor bloody nose issues
    • Throat irritation/dry cough/hoarseness
    • Gingival inflammation
    • Hyperkeratosis or thickening of the tissue
    • Dizziness and headache
    • Seizures
    • Disorientation
    • Airway resistance
    • Swelling of bronchioles
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Pneumonia
    • Loss of pulmonary function known as "popcorn lung"
    • Concern for children from second hand exposure

    Of course the best advice we can give our patients is to quit vaping altogether but vaping  can be just as difficult to quit as traditional tobacco cigarettes.  The dentist will need to provide treatment options while the patient is trying to quit such as:  fluoride toothpaste and rinse, drinking more water, saliva substitutes, anesthetics, coatings, corticosteroids, etc.


                Vapor News

                Taglia Advanced Dentistry

                Jennifer Sherry

                Norine Blackstad

                Kasey Wheatley

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