Last week we honored our dental assistants here at Boulevard Dental in light of Dental Assistants Recognition Week. But do you really know your dental assistant and what they actually do? And do you know just how crucial a dental assistant is to the functioning of a dental team? We would like to share with you exactly what a dental assistant does and allow you to get to know our own qualified and talented dental assistants.
What Does Your Dental Assistant Do?
According to the American Dental Assistants Association’s (ADAA) website, a dental assistant works under the supervision of a dentist and performs a wide range of tasks, ranging from patient care, to administrative duties, to laboratory functions. The American Dental Association’s (ADA) online resource, “Dental Team Careers,” lists all of the possible functions of a dental assistant, though state regulations may vary:
- Assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures
- Taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays)
- Asking about the patient’s medical history and taking blood pressure and pulse
- Serving as an infection control officer, developing infection control protocol, and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment
- Helping patients feel comfortable before, during, and after dental treatment
- Providing patients with instructions for oral care following surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the placement of a restoration (filling)
- Teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health (i.e., toothbrushing, flossing, and nutritional counseling)
- Taking impressions of patient’s teeth for study casts (models of teeth)
- Performing office management tasks that often require the use of a personal computer
- Communicating with patients and suppliers (i.e., scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, billing, and ordering supplies)
- Helping to provide direct patient care in all dental specialties, including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and oral surgery
What is an EFDA?
An EFDA is an expanded functions dental assistant. They perform the same duties as a dental assistant, but they have received additional training and education that allows them to do the following additional tasks as listed by Harrisburg Area Community College’s online description of their EFDA program:
- Placement, finishing, and polishing of amalgam, composite, and intermediate restorations
- Placement of dental sealants
- Coronal polishing
- Fluoride treatments
- Placement and removal of dental dams
- Placement of matrix bands and wedges
- Placement of bases and liners
- Preliminary impressions
- Fabrication of temporary crowns and bridges
Boulevard Dental’s Dental Assistants:
At Boulevard Dental, we have three dental assistants, two of whom are also EFDA’s. If you missed our previous posts from Dental Assistants Recognition Week, here is some additional information to better help you get to know our own dental assistants:
Kiley goes above and beyond to do her best for her patients. She has been a dental assistant for 16 years. She graduated from BCTC for dental assisting and Harcum College for EFDA. Her favorite thing about Boulevard Dental is her co-workers and the patients. When Kiley has a day off, she loves to be active with hiking, yoga, Pilates, biking, and tennis.
Lori brings such joy and positive energy to our team. Lori has worked in the dental field since 1995. Before joining us, she worked at the same dental office for 26 wonderful years, filling multiple positions including dental assistant, EFDA, office manager, and insurance coordinator. She graduated from Harcum College as an EFDA in 2001 and particularly enjoys restoring teeth, cosmetic dentistry, and teeth whitening. Outside of work, she enjoys attending all of her children’s many sporting events, reading, traveling, and running her personal clothing business, “Always Be Nice.”
Rosalani (Dental Assistant)
Rosalani goes out of her way to help us around the office in any way that she can. She graduated from Berks Technical Institute and has been a dental assistant with us for two and a half years. Her favorite thing about working at Boulevard Dental is the wonderful patients. On her days off, she enjoys the extra sleep and spending time with her son.
The field of dentistry is definitely a team sport. We could never do what we do and serve our patients in the way we desire without the expertise and skill of our talented and caring dental assistants. Thank you Kiley, Lori, and Rosalani for going above and beyond and for making Boulevard Dental what it is!
American Dental Assistants Association. https://www.adaausa.org/aws/ADAA/pt/sp/about. Accessed March 8, 2023.
American Dental Association. Dental Team Careers. https://www.ada.org/resources/careers/dental-team-careers. Accessed March 8, 2023.
Harrisburg Area Community College. Expanded Functions Dental Assisting (EFDA). https://www.hacc.edu/ProgramsandCourses/Programs/HealthCareers/Expanded-Functions-Dental-Auxiliary-Program.cfm#:~:text=What%20does%20an%20EFDA%20do,Coronal%20polishing. Accessed March 8, 2023.