Expanded Functions of Dental Assistants

Topics: Dentistry, Dental assistant, Dental technician Pages: 5 (1290 words) Published: December 5, 2010
Dental Assistant are expected to perform "basic supportive dental procedures", that is, dental procedures that have technically elementary characteristics, are completely reversible, and are unlikely to post potentially hazardous conditions for the patient being treated. Some states require Dental Assistants to be trained in a variety of “expanded duties”. Each state differs in expected requirements. Florida and Minnesota are the two states I am going to focus on.

Dental Assistants in the state of Florida must have formal training to perform multiple expanded functions. For an individual to perform the expanded functions of a Dental Assistant they must graduate from a CODA accredited Dental Assisting program provided that it includes the appropriate training in expanded functions. Kaplan College in Jacksonville, FL is one of these schools. The other way a Dental Assistant that lives in Florida can perform expanded duties is if they successfully complete a Florida Board approved expanded duties training program.

Florida offers 14 expanded functions under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist, 18 expanded functions under indirect supervision of the dentist and 2 expanded functions under general supervision. These expanded functions allow a Dental Assistant in the state of Florida to be a huge asset to a dental clinic. Florida offers one of the longest lists of expanded functions available for the Dental Assistant to perform. By learning to be comfortable with the expanded functions, you are allowing yourself to learn beyond the average assistant and excelling at your career.

Some of the 14 expanded functions that are required of a Dental Assistant under direct supervision of a licensed dentist include:
~ Using appropriate implements for preliminary charting of the existing restorations and missing teeth and visual assessment of existing oral conditions.
~Packing and removing retraction cord.
~Polishing clinical crowns when not for the purpose of changing the existing contour of tooth.
~Selecting and pre-sixing orthodontic bands.
~Removing and recementing properly contoured and fitting loose bands.
~ Making impressions.
~Fabricating temporary crowns or bridges.
~Cementing temporary crowns and bridges with temporary cement.
~Placing or removing temporary restorations.
~Removing excess cement from dental restorations.
~Monitor the administration of nitrous oxide, make adjustments during administration.
~Inserting or removing dressings from alveolar sockets in post-operative situations.

Some of the 18 expanded functions that are required of a Dental Assistant under indirect supervision of a licensed dentist include:
~Removing sutures.
~Securing or unsecuring an archwire.
~Applying topical fluorides.
~ Positioning and exposing dental and carpal radiographic film.
~ Placing and removing dental dams.
~ Applying cavity liners, varnishes or bases.
~Placing periodontal dressings.
~ Applying sealants.
~ Placing and removing prescribed pretreatment separators
~ Making impressions for study cases.
~ Placing and/or removing matrixes.
~ Removing periodontal or surgical dressings.

The 2 functions that a Dental Assistant in Florida can perform under general supervision include:
~Instructing patients in oral hygiene care.
~ Fabricating temporary crowns or bridges in a laboratory.

Being an Expanded Function Dental Assistant in the state of Florida is a rewarding and challenging job. Florida offers multiple locations to receive your degree and is one of the leading states in accelerated programs. The job outlook for Dental Assistance in Florida is very good. The average pay for an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant is between $14.00 and $18.00 an hour.

Now let’s take a look at the expanded functions of a Dental Assistant in the state of Minnesota. First of all, the educational requirements in Minnesota differ greatly from the requirements of Florida. The...
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