Complaints Against Dental Assistants

Complaints Against Dental Assistants

Complaints Against Dental Assistants

Most Dental Assistants work hard to ensure the best quality treatment available to all patients. However, there are those who don’t live up to the expectations of the patient. The patient has the right to address this issue with the dental facility. If they do not feel their complaint has been properly handled, they can then file a complaint with the State Dental Board.


State Dental Boards are responsible for regulating dental practices. They work hard to protect the public against improper behaviors by Dental Assistants, Dental Hygienists, and Dentists. They are to thoroughly investigate all complaints filed that involve competentcy. State Dental Boards do not handle complaints such as fee disputes, personality conflicts, rude behaviors, or difficulty with scheduling appointments in a timely manner. Such issues are to be referred to the Better Business Bureau.


It is important to file a complaint with the State Dental Board as soon as possible to allow then to be of the most help. Most states allow you to file your complaint online, over the phone, or you can request a form be sent to you in the mail. Some states will only accept a complaint in writing.


Dental Assistants need to be aware of the process that patients can go through if they have a complaint. Dental Assistants need to be cooperative during the investigation. If a Dental Assistant feels a patient may file a complaint, it is important to write down as much information as possible. This information needs to include the patient’s name, date, time, and what took place. Also document any verbal interactions and who all was present to observe the incident. This information will be very useful to you and to the State Dental Board.


The Dental Board works hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. However, it will not rush the efforts to investigate it properly. Some complaints are resolved in a matter of days while others linger for years. Once a complaint has been filed, a copy of it is sent to the dental facility for a response. Generally, the dental facility is given a specific time frame to have their response back to the State Dental Board.


Once the response is received and reviewed, the Dental Board will compare the information to that on the complaint. From there, a course of action will be mapped out. This generally involved conducting interviews of all parties present during the incident. A panel is set up to investigate if any dental laws were violated. If there appears to be a violation, a hearing will be scheduled. The Dental Assistant will be notified as well as required to show up for the hearing.


If the Dental Assistant is found to be in violation of dental laws, the Dental Board will issue a reprimand. This will depend on the state guidelines as well as the violation. Reprimands may include a letter of apology, suspension, probation, or even revocation of the Dental Assistant’s license. The Dental Board is not allowed to require monetary compensation. If the person filing the complaint want to be compensated in that manner, they will need to file a civil suit with their local judicial system.


Dental Assistants who find themselves in the middle of a complaint issue with the Dental Board are likely to experience anxiety and fear. Many dental facilities will provide the individual with counseling as well as legal consultation. In most cases, it will depend on the issue the Dental Board is investigating. If the dental facility backs the Dental Assistant they will do all they can. However, if they feel the Dental Assistant is in violation of dental regulations they may terminate the individual, leaving them to pay for their own defense.


It is the responsibility of the Dental Assistant to follow all policies and procedures correctly. If you have any doubt, take the time to have everything explained to you. Losing a complaint under the Dental Board can cost you your job, as well as your career. If you lose your license, you may find it difficult to obtain another job in the profession as a Dental Assistant. Making sure you follow policies and procedures will ensure that you have a good chance of winning such complaints upon a complete review and investigation by the Dental Board.

Mouthwash Is Not The Complete Answer To Bad Breath

Answer To Bad Breath

Answer To Bad Breath

If you are like most people then somewhere in your bathroom is a bottle of mouthwash.  You might use it occasionally when you want to cover up the bad breath of some strongly flavored food you have just eaten or use it everyday as part of your oral care routine.  No matter your reason for using mouthwash it is important to understand that it does not really stop bad breath because it does not kill the bacteria in your mouth that are the underlying cause.  Used properly, however, it can be part of the solution.


Whatever your favorite brand of mouthwash may be it will likely contain a very high percentage of alcohol unless you have objections and have specifically sought out an alcohol free mouthwash.  Many people are seeking out these new products in an attempt to avoid the alcohol and new products are entering the market making it easier to find an alternative.  Even this high level of alcohol, however, does not kill off oral bacteria but is rather used to facilitate the action of the other main ingredients.  Certain substances such as essential oils will not dissolve in water and thus alcohol must be used in order to keep them in solution and allow them to get to the areas of your mouth where they are needed to aid in the removal of plaque.  The high levels of alcohol in mouthwash have been accused of drying out your mouth if used too frequently and encouraging the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath but studies have shown that this is not the case.


If you are like most people, your first concern is not what the ingredients are in your mouth wash but rather whether or not it really works to help you.  Mouthwash can be a very effective part of a daily oral hygiene regimen and help to prevent other conditions such as gingivitis, but as a treatment for bad breath mouthwash simply acts as a cover up and a short term one at that.  To get rid of the bacteria in your mouth that release sulfur containing compounds that are at the source of most bad breath problems requires a complete plan of attack that includes brushing several times a day, flossing at least daily, and the use of a mouthwash or rinse to aid in removing the food particles and bacteria from the mouth that brushing and flossing have loosened.  The tongue is a chief growth area for bacteria so many people also add a tongue scraper to their routine to aid even further in getting rid of the bacteria.


Mouthwash should be treated as part of the solution if you are suffering from bad breath, but not the entire solution.  It can give you that fresh mouth feeling for a short period of time but the problem will return if you do not eliminate the source.  Make sure that you choose a mouthwash that has been approved by the ADA and has a pleasant, agreeable taste.  Choosing a mouthwash that you enjoy will ensure its continued use as part of a well rounded oral care program that will encourage healthy teeth and a healthy mouth.

Certified Dental Assistant Requirements

Certified Dental Assistant

Certified Dental Assistant

Completing a Dental Assistant program can be the opportunity to explore a wonderful career in the field of dentistry. While most states don’t require licensing, obtaining your certification as a Dental Assistant will give you and edge over the competition. This will allow you to have a wide selection of employment opportunities to choose from. Most Dental Assistants with a certificate find that they are paid more for their work than those Dental Assistants who have not obtained licensing.


The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. set the standards for the Certified Dental Assistant, known as CDA. The CDA exam is composed of three parts. The General Chairside is a written test composed of 120 multiple choice questions. The questions are based on basic Dental Assistant fundamentals. The Infection Control segment is also a written portion. It is composed of 100 multiple choice questions relating to information on various diseases, the risks, and prevention methods. The last portion of the exam is the Health and Safety portion. This is a 100 question multiple choice section that is basically common sense related. Some Nursing Assistants choose to take the Certified Dental Assistant portion as well. This is a 210 question multiple choice section.


To prepare for the CDA, review your text book and notes from your Dental Assistant program. It is a good idea to purchase a CDA study guide. You can form a study group with other students who will be taking the CDA exam. The internet also has many free practice tests available. The exam is given in either a written form or computerized form. Nursing Assistant can choose the method they are most comfortable with.


To ensure you do the best possible on the CDA test, consider scheduling it immediately after you have completed your Dental Assistant Program. This is a great time to do it because all of the information is still fresh in your mind. You are also still in learning mode, so you should not suffer too much from test anxiety. Those who test right after completing their Dental Assistant program score better on the test. The longer you wait, they lower your score is likely to be. It is also less likely you will take the test once you have secured employment as a Dental Assistant.


In some states, Dental Assistants who have obtained the certification can perform various dental procedures. This definitely makes you a greater asset to the dental facility you work for if your state offers this statute. This will also encourage employers in these states to hire you over other Dental Assistants who are not certified. You will be worth more to the employer, so you will likely be offered more pay and better benefits.


For Dental Assistants, the decision to take the CDA is theirs to make. Since licensing is not a requirement, then many choose not to go through the test of taking another exam. However, there is nothing to lose because if you don’t pass the test you are still qualified to be a Dental Assistant upon completion of your program. However, the benefits of having an edge over the competition as well as the additional pay for the same type of work are encouraging to proceed with taking the CDA.


CDA exams vary in cost by state. They are generally held monthly. You can obtain a schedule of CDA exams from your program instructor, your State Dental Board, or from The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. They can also refer you to the best materials to study for the CDA test based on the requirements of your state.

Healthy Gums Require Good Gum Care

Healthy Gums Require Good Gum Care

Healthy Gums Require Good Gum Care

Healthy gums are an unavoidable requirement if you would like to have healthy teeth.  The number one cause of tooth loss is gum disease that could have been prevented if proper oral hygiene had been practiced and the gum disease found before the situation became serious.  Healthy gums should not be red and inflamed and should not be sore to the touch or bleed when you brush your teeth or floss.  Keeping your gums healthy or reversing any minor damage is not difficult to do if you use proper gum care.


The first step in proper gum care is the same as keeping any other part of your mouth healthy and happy.  If you do not already  have a regular oral hygiene regimen then you should start one and follow it every day.  The brushing of your teeth should take place at least twice a day with a good quality toothpaste that has received the ADA seal of approval.  Brushing should also include the roof of your mouth and your tongue and you should be using a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent causing any irritation.  A careful flossing of the teeth should take place at least once a day, preferably at each brushing.  Take care not to floss so aggressively that you irritate the gum tissue and cause bleeding.  Follow this up with a good quality mouthwash to help rinse away all that you have loosened with flossing and brushing.  Pink gums that do not bleed and fresh breath are signs of good gum care.


Good gum care also involves making sure that you are eating a healthy diet.  The first part of this is to make sure that your diet contains plenty of Vitamin C.   Gingivitis can result from not getting enough Vitamin C in your diet as can a weakening of the enamel on your teeth making it easier for cavities to start.  You should avoid drinks and foods that are high in sugar as sugar is the primary food source for the bacteria in your mouth that result in plaque and tartar, both of which are prime causes of gum disease.  If you cannot avoid things such as candy, fruit juices, and soft drinks then you must be vigilant in brushing immediately after consuming them so that the sugar does not remain in your mouth.


Good gum care involves making and keeping regular appointments with your dental care professional as well.  You should schedule cleanings at least twice a year to remove any plaque and tartar build up that may occur.  A thorough exam should also be had on at least a yearly basis so that your dentist can explore any changes in your teeth or gums that may be the early signs of something more severe.  If a problem is caught early on it can usually be corrected quite easily without the need for expensive or painful treatment that may be required later if you ignore the problem.  If you are experiencing any irritation or bleeding from your gums or you are experiencing bad breath that just won’t go away, your dentist will be able to suggest ways to get your gum care back on the right track.

Infections….Not Uncommon

Infections....Not Uncommon

Infections….Not Uncommon

Once a tooth has been extracted, bacteria will still be alive in the mouth, even more so with those who have bad oral hygiene. Infections are very common following extractions. Depending on how bad the tooth was that the dentist removed, he may prescribe you some antibiotics to take that will greatly reduce your risk of getting an infection. In some cases though, even antibiotics can’t prevent an infection.


If you go to the dentist before the extraction experienced swelling of the face, swollen gums, pain in your teeth under light pressure, or bleeding around the extraction site, then you may already have an infection. If you indeed have an infection before you get the tooth treated, the dentist will prescribe you antibiotics to use following treatment. If you have a really bad abscess, you’ll need to use antibiotics to treat the infection before the dentist will remove the tooth.


In some cases, people develop an infection after the extraction, even though they may not have been infected beforehand. The reason for this, is bacteria. Following an extraction, bacteria will be more alive in the mouth than ever before. With the extraction site being exposed, the bacteria will be able to get into the site. This can lead to an infection due to the site being exposed and the fact that you are unable to use mouthwash or brush during the first 24 – 48 hours. Not being able to sterilize your mouth means that you are unable to kills the germs responsible for bacteria.


After extractions, the first sign of infection is renewed bleeding. This normally occurs around 48 hours after the extraction. Even though it normally isn’t severe, you should still call your dentist and make an appointment to be seen. Your dentist will be able to stop the bleeding and give you some antibiotics and other prescriptions that will fix the problem.


Some dentists prefer to give patients antibiotics before they will do any type of extraction. Although you may not have an abscess, most dentists prefer to get rid of the infection before they start doing their work. They do this because they know the local anesthesia won’t work all that good with infections, and it may take them a lot of work and a lot of medicine to numb the area that you have the infection in.


In the event that the tooth has to be removed and the dentist simply cannot wait a few days, it is possible to get you numbed. Although it will take quite a bit of medicine to numb the area, it can be done. Sometimes, dentists will choose to use an IV sedation or laughing gas, in the event that local numbing doesn’t help. An IV sedation will normally put you to sleep or knock you out, so that the dentist can remove the tooth that is causing you so much trouble.


Even though infections can cause a lot of pain and need to be dealt with immediately, you may not have to take antibiotics once the dentist has extracted the tooth. If your mouth is clean and you don’t have a lot of germs, you can normally heal the would by taking care of it. Rinsing your mouth out with salt water for the first few days will keep the extraction site clean. As long as you take care of the extraction site and do what your dentist tells you, you shouldn’t have any further problems with the extraction site or the infection.

You Nedd To Keep An Eye Out For Gingivitis

Keep An Eye Out For Gingivitis

Keep An Eye Out For Gingivitis

You have heard the word either from your dentist or perhaps a television commercial, but what exactly is gingivitis?  Simply put, gingivitis is an inflammation of your gums that occurs due to some sort of irritation.  Gingivitis is normally considered to be nondestructive but if left untreated can lead to other more severe problems.  It is possible for you to have gingivitis and not even know because many times the symptoms are extremely mild.  The most common cause of gingivitis is a failure to maintain a proper oral hygiene program to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.  Plaque can build up on your teeth without regular brushing, flossing, and the use of a mouth rinse.  Plaque builds up over time from food deposits and bacteria in the mouth and eventually leads to tartar, a hard, scaly deposit forming at the base of your teeth.  This plaque and tartar build up is most often the start of the inflammation to your gums.


Poor oral hygiene, however, is not the only possible cause of gingivitis.  Any type of physical injury to your gum tissue can also result in swelling and irritation and a common cause of injury to gum tissue is brushing.  Brushing is an important part of keeping your mouth healthy, but if it is not done properly it may be causing as much harm as good.  The first thing to look at is the type of toothbrush that you are using.  Many people prefer a firm toothbrush but this can be irritating to your gums and the best toothbrush to use is one that is made up of soft bristles.  Brushing must also not be done too aggressively to avoid damage to the gum tissue.  Other health concerns may also cause gingivitis such as diabetes, going through menopause, or the changes in hormone levels experienced by the body during pregnancy.


Gingivitis, at least in its early stages, is normally pain free so you may not be aware of a problem unless you are observant and looking for possible symptoms.  The most common first sign is gum tissue that is bright red and swollen.  This is usually followed by noticing that your gums bleed a little when you brush.  Keep an eye on your toothbrush and the sink as you brush and spit as any sign of a pink color in either of these places is a good indication of bleeding occurring in your mouth.  Other early signs of gingivitis include chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth that never seems to go away.  As gingivitis progresses more serious symptoms will start to show that are much harder to miss including receding gums, sensitivity to heat or cold, and teeth that progressively loosen and may even fall out.


It is vitally important for the health of your teeth and gums that you take care of them and that you seek the advice of your dentist at the earliest sign that there may be a problem.  Your dentist will make several recommendations to reverse the effects of gingivitis and prevent its return starting with maintaining a proper brushing and flossing routine on a daily basis.  Regular cleanings are also important for the prevention of gingivitis and you should see your dental hygienist every six months.  If your gingivitis does not respond to these methods your dentist may prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash that will help speed up the healing process.