Dental Assisting - Introduction
The Dental Assistant's Scope of Practice
Thedental assistant's scope of responsibilities are determined by educational preparation, type of practice and the laws of the state in which one is employed. Chairside dental assisting duties include preparing the patient for treatment, sterilizing and selecting instruments, assembling materials and equipment, organizing the work area, assisting the dentist in all phases of treatment, exposing, processing and mounting dental radiographs, providing instruction in oral hygiene and nutrition, and performing a variety of intraoral expanded functions. Other responsibilities include office management duties, which include scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records and financial accounts, preparing insurance forms, collecting payments, and ordering and maintaining supplies. Dental assistants also perform laboratory procedures such as pouring impressions, trimming study models, fabricating custom trays and preparing base plates and bite rims.
The New Jersey Dental Auxiliaries Act of 1979 provides for the extension of the functions normally performed by dental assistants to include additional intraoral procedures that can be legally performed. Examples of these duties include cementing of crowns, taking preliminary for study models impressions and performing some orthodontic functions. The teaching of expanded functions is an integral component of the UMDNJ curriculum which leads to employment opportunities in diverse practice settings. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination. Once a CDA, the graduate is automatically eligible for the New Jersey RDA (Registered Dental Assistant) credential upon passing the Ethics and Jurisprudence Examination administered by the Board of Dentistry of New Jersey. Graduates are also eligible to sit for the LRT(D) examination for licensure in Dental Radiography.
UMDNJ-SHRP provides opportunities for Certified/Registered Dental Assistants to continue their education to obtain an advanced certificate in the Bachelor of Science in Health Science-Allied Dental Concentration. Opportunities for advanced standing in the Dental Hygiene Program are also available.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The UMDNJ Dental Assisting Program prepares the student for work as a valuable member of the dental health care team and for diverse career opportunities. In order to expose students to the most modern equipment and advanced treatment techniques, the facilities of the UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School and the SHRP Scotch Plains Dental Suite are utilized. Prospective dental assisting students must possess manual dexterity, good vision, and optimal oral and personal hygiene habits. Upon completion of the program, the student will be able able to perform the following functions:
- Assist the dentist in all phases of patient treatment
- Sterilize instruments
- Prepare treatment rooms
- Provide patient education and nutritional counseling
- Arrange and confirm appointments
- Prepare dental insurance claims
- Expose, process, and mount radiographs
- Perform a variety of intra-oral expanded functions
- Fabricate mouth guards
- Work as members of the dental health team
- Perform basic laboratory procedures
- Select and transfer instruments to the dentist
The Dental Assisting Program was established in 1972 and is fully accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. Over the years, the School has graduated well qualified dental assistants. Many of these chairside assistants work in private practice, although a variety of employment opportunities are available. Career ladder options for the CDA-RDA (Certified and Registered Dental Assistant) include dental hygiene, dentistry, teaching, research and business
All General Education Credits may not be acceptable for transfer. The affiliates maintain policies which outline residency requirements regarding transfer credits. Students taking general education courses will be required to register for the following number of credits at one of the designated affiliate institutions
|Brookdale Community College
|Essex County College
|Raritan Valley Community College
|Union County College
|Thomas Edison State College
Please click Link for:
|Registered Dental Assistant performing expanded orthodontic functions.
Director: Carolyn Breen, Ed.D., RDH, RDA, CDA
American Dental Assistants Association http://www.dentalassistant.org
New Jersey Dental Assistants Association http://www.njdaa.org
American Dental Association: http://www.ada.org