Become a Dental Assistant to Explore the World of Dentistry

Become a Dental Assistant to Explore the World of Dentistry

A career as a Dental Assistant will offer you insight and first hand experience in the areas of Dentistry. Dental Assistants work very closely with both dentists and hygienists to offer quality care to all patients. The duties you will perform as a Dental Assistant will vary depending on the dental office you work for. It will also depend on if the dentist office is general dentistry or a specialized area of care.

Dental Assistants need to be detail oriented as well as patient and alert. They may have to sit for hours while a procedure is being completed or jump into the situation in an instant if an emergency occurs while the procedure is being conducted.

Typical tasks Dental Assistants need to perform include sterilizing instruments and preparing instrument trays for procedures. They also work closely with patients, taking dental and health histories. Depending on the procedures, vital signs of patients may be monitored by a Dental Assistant. They also help document patient records, take X-Rays, and give patients information on follow up care. In some offices they also make impressions of teeth to assist with making casts for caps, crowns, and dentures.

Dental Assistants often work right along side the dentist and hygienist. Starting with making patients feel comfortable and prepping them for procedures. Assistants hand the dentist and hygienist instruments and materials, allowing them to remain focused on the patient throughout the procedure. It is the job of the Dental Assistant to make sure the work station has all the necessary equipment and tools to complete each procedure to prevent delays and feelings of anxiety in patients.

In a crunch, Dental Assistants may be asked to assist with office duties including answering the phone, reminding patients of appointments, scheduling appointments, answering billing questions, and submitting insurance claims. It really depends on how your employer has the dental office operating.

Dental Assistants generally work with dentists and hygienists in a clean, friendly environment that is well lit. Since the work chair side to the dentist and hygienist, Dental Assistants learn many avenues of proper dental procedures. Many just might be able to do them as well as any dentist or hygienist, however, they are not allowed to because they are not certified.

Knowing this, many Dental Assistants choose to further their education in the medical field. They may decide to pursue being a Dental Hygienist or a Dentist. This will allow them to perform many of the procedures they have seen performed over and over again. Watching this process with make their educational endeavor much easier as they will already have seen so many aspects of the dental field in action.

Another reason Dental Assistants choose to further their career is the difference in pay. Generally, Dental Hygienists earn 80% more than a Dental Assistant. Over time, that amount of money definitely adds up to quite a large difference. Dentists of course make much more money that the Dental Assistant and Dental Hygienist combined.

A career as a Dental Assistant allows you the unique and rewarding opportunity to participate in the dental field on many levels. You will not only have many responsibilities, you will first hand be up close to assist Dental Hygienists and Dentists perform the many different procedures that take place in a dental setting. This ongoing training is the perfect learning tool to enable you to further your education with a solid foundation in the dental field to build on.

Supplemental Dental Insurance 101

Supplemental Dental Insurance 101

Many people mistakenly assume that all their dental needs are covered by their health insurance plans. While many health insurance plans – most notably HMOs – may offer some dental coverage, most of your dental needs won’t be covered by the typical health insurance plan. In fact, you may even find that a dental insurance plan only goes so far in covering your true dental costs. Supplemental dental insurance can help cover your out of pocket expenses, or lower your dental costs with participation in various dental plans.

Supplemental dental insurance is not meant to be your primary dental insurance. Rather, it’s meant to help cover the costs associated with your dental needs which may not be covered by your primary health or dental coverage. There are several varieties of dental insurance supplement plans, but they fall under a few broad categories.

Dental Discount Plans
A dental discount plan is designed to lower dental costs by leveraging the large number of their members to negotiate lower prices for their members. Discount dental plans aren’t actually dental insurance, but they do lower your dental costs by passing the savings on to you. You save money by getting your dental care and serviced provided by their member dentists. When you pay, you present your dental discount plan member card, and are billed at the discounted price for members. A discount dental plan can cost as little as $5 per month per person covered.

Discounted Student Dental Plans
Because college students often lose dental and health coverage on their parents’ dental plans when they reach 18, many colleges have opted to provide discounted student dental plans for their registered students. Generally, the discounted plans provide limited benefits such as cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, routine fillings and emergency dental treatment for pain relief. The services may be entirely paid for by the supplemental dental insurance policy, or may involve a small co-payment. Costs for student supplemental dental insurance are generally low, from $125-$175 per student.

Dental Insurance Preferred Provider Network
One popular type of dental insurance plan is a preferred provider network. With a preferred provider plan, you can choose from any dentist who is a member of the network for your dental care – and switch dentists whenever you like. The dental insurance plan pays a fixed flat fee for any service provided, and you pay the rest. Cost is generally $15-20 per month.

Dental Assistant Pay

Dental Assistant Pay

Becoming a Dental Assistant not only prepares you for a wonderful career working in the dental field, is also pays very well. Since this area of employment is anticipated to be one of the most in demand over the next six years, your chances of securing a great job with great pay and benefits is very likely.

The Median hourly rate of pay for Dental Assistants is $13.62. This is well above the minimum wage established in most states. In addition to a great hourly wage, many Dental Assistants will receive bonuses if the dental office is doing well, health insurance, and discounted dental procedures. Almost all Dental Assistants receive paid vacation days, sick days, and paid Holidays.

However, earning such a high hourly wage comes with a great level of responsibility. Dental Assistants perform duties relating to patient care, office sanitation, lab duties, and assisting the dentist and hygienist with a variety of procedures. Dental Assistants need to be alert, pay attention to detail, and have effective communication skills. They must also be able to provide patients with comfort measures both before and after procedures are completed.

Dental Assistants are easily confused with Dental Hygienists. Compared to hygienists, who have a median rate of pay of $23.65 per hour, a Dental Assistant is not making a very good hourly wage. However, they are very different professions. A Dental Assistant does just that, assists the dentist and hygienist with providing the best quality care for all patients. A hygienist takes care of cleaning teeth and generally has a steady stream of patients who come in every six months for routine cleaning procedures.

The amount of pay a Dental Assistant earns depends on many factors. The cost of living in your area will be the greatest influence. The amount of revenue the dental office you work for generates will also be a deciding factor. New dentists might have to pay less than established dentists will clientele because they don’t have the traffic coming into the office. However, it is very possible your pay will increase as more patients are drawn to that dental office.

Your level of experience will also be a consideration. You may have to accept a position that pays less than average to get your foot in the door and gain some hands on experience. However, with the demand for Dental Assistants, you should have no problem securing employment. Many dental offices want to keep quality Dental Assistants. They may offer to start you at a lower entry level pay, with the understanding that your performance will be reviewed in 90 days or other time frame. Based on your performance, you pay will be adjusted at that time.

It is important to understand that certified and uncertified Dental Assistants complete the same types of tasks. However, those who are certified earn several dollars more per hour than those who aren’t certified. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to take the certification exam early on in your career as a Dental Assistant.

The Facts About Bad Breath

The Facts About Bad Breath

We have all had an experience where you have been required to speak to someone and you have been unable to concentrate on their response because of their bad breath. The medical term for this condition is known as halitosis and there can be a number of causes for it. However, the end result is always the same and it can be described as the presence of foul smelling gases in exhaled air.

So, what causes this to happen? Well, there are two main types of halitosis and one is easier to explain than the other. The first type is called transient bad breath and this can be caused as a result of a number of seemingly innocuous factors. Having a dry mouth, which can be due to thirst, stress or nerves, can cause bad breath as can certain food stuffs. Strong smelling food such as garlic, onion or other heavily spiced dishes can linger on the breath of the person who consumed it. Smoking is another factor which can cause bad breath and poor oral hygiene is a sure way to halitosis. Saliva is able to kill a certain degree of bacteria in the mouth but it does need to be helped by the use of toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash. The most common form of transient bad breath is commonly known as morning breath. This occurs as a result of your mouth remaining relatively still for a long period of time and so your saliva production is slowed drastically and the bacteria build up overnight. Brushing your teeth in the morning removes the bacteria and so removes the odour.

Chronic bad breath is a more serious condition and it is persistent and difficult to treat. It can affect up to 25% of the population and is caused as a result of certain types of bacteria being produced in excessive amounts. Treatment is not readily available and the clinics which are starting to appear tend to just be outlets for a bad breath product which claims to remedy the problem but which does not treat the cause. As such, these products are only temporary relievers of the problem and not a cure.

A third type of halitosis is recognised but it is a side effect of the more serious condition of chronic liver failure. This type of bad breath is known as fetor hepaticus and is described as smelling as foul as a freshly opened corpse.

For many, bad breath is seen as something comical and people who suffer from it are ridiculed and avoided. However, for the sufferers themselves it can cause real psychological difficulties. Many find it difficult to form relationships and even to speak to people as they are conscious of the odour. They can become very depressed and withdrawn.

For those whose bad breath is of the transient type, many things can be done to rid yourself of it. It is known that the majority of smells come from bacteria produced by food debris which is trapped in the mouth. Following a good oral hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing, will remove these pieces of food and so prevent the bacteria from building up. Using mint flavoured mouth washes, chewing gums and lozenges can mask the problem briefly but do not rid the cause permanently. However, if you are on the go they can be beneficial until you are able to clean your teeth thoroughly

Overcoming Dental Fear

Overcoming Dental Fear

About Dental Fear

Dental fear is another common fear shared by many individuals. Despite the importance of dental care, there are quite many who despise the idea of going to the dentist for a visit. For some people, the pain associated with any type of dental problems is tied up with the fear of that dreaded visit to the dentist. Statistics reveal that dentists are the most feared out of any type of doctors.

It is no surprise as to why dental fear is so prevalent given the different situational causes to it.

Cause of Dental Fear

The fear of dentists vary in their intensity such that some people are afraid of undergoing intricate dental procedures while others dislike the idea of seeing the dentist at all. Due to the importance of dental care as part of taking care of your body, it is also important to assess your level of fear so you can undertake the necessary steps to overcome it.

If you examine the causes for dental fear, these are quite familiar. Therefore, you need to be able to identify them before you can think of ways to eliminate them.

• Previous terrible experience with a dentist.

• Fear of being embarrassed or ridiculed for your dental condition. This is quite problematic since your own fear is also the reason for your dental neglect in the first place.

• Fear of certain dental procedures, specially intricate ones that you might perceive as painful.

• Others own scary or terrible experiences with the dentist that impact your own perception about dentists and having a dental check-up on a whole.

• Fear of the anesthesia shots and needles registered by the dentist before proceeding to any dental procedure.

Behavioral Techniques To Overcome Dental Fear

As with any other types of fear, dental fear mostly takes place in the mind. Therefore, you can try to combat it with a few psychological methods that will enable you to confront this fear. By following them, you are not entirely guaranteed of being able to let go of that fear altogether. However, it can help you understand that this type of fear can be illogical and enable you to appreciate the importance of having frequent dental care.

The Comfort Zone

This is an important concept associated with psychological fears involved with your dental fear. Undergoing dental procedures can be scary, but you can get over that by re-learning the emotional responses solicited by the experience. This is most common among children. For example, you can try doing basic check up wherein the doctor examines the teeth using a mouth mirror. If a child shows no signs of fear from that, then you can proceed to a more elaborate test. Taking this step by step process and moving in slowly will enable the child or individual to remain in their comfort zone. This is a more useful approach among adults given that they can voice out their experience so that you remain as relaxed about the entire dental visit.

Knowing You're In Control

This one is related to the idea of the “comfort zone”, which is basically about letting your dentist know whether or not you are comfortable about the dental proceedings. It is important that you learn how to effectively communicate with your dentist so they remain aware about your state throughout the entire procedure. If at some point you become quite anxious about the situation, then it is best to send out warning signals so your dentist know when to stop or proceed.

Also, you need to keep it in mind that dental procedures are not going to hurt. That is what the numbing agent is for, which is also another reason why you should not fear those shots administered before any procedure. Once you have motivated yourself enough to dismiss all these thoughts of fear and anxiety, then you'd be able to come out of the procedure with a healthier dental condition.

Avoid Bad Breath

Avoid Bad Breath

Bad breath can be a serious issue. No one wants to be known as having bad breath. However, brushing regularly and mouthwash may not always be effective. Here are some tips about avoiding bad breath.

If you are suffering from bad breath, brushing and rinsing your mouth may not be an effective remedy. There are many reasons why people have bad breath.

Besides eating potent foods such as onions and garlic, most dentists have found that the top bad breath contributors are a dry mouth or sinus infection. Even if you are following an oral hygiene regiment, these two contributors can still cause bad breath.

If you have dry mouth you can easily counter by constantly keeping your mouth moist by a lozenge or drinking water regularly However, if you have a sinus infection, you will need to see a doctor for a prescription to rid yourself of it.. Most people don’t even realize that they have a sinus infection, but bad breath can be an indicator of one.

So if you are trying to avoid embarrassment look into these tips or see your dentist or doctor to avoid bad breath

Diseases That Can Cause Foul Breath

Diseases That Can Cause Foul Breath

Poor oral hygiene and diet are often the culprits when it comes to bad breath. However in some cases, bad breath may be caused than something more than this. For some people a change of diet and better oral hygiene may not solve the problem of emitting foul odors in the mouth. The reason behind this could be that the bad breath is caused by something greater. There are often diseases which are known to cause this.
Small Bowel Obstruction. This illness indicates a blockage in the abdominal area, causing the digestive process to become abnormal. The blockage may be located anywhere in the abdomen and can be accompanied by different symptoms. Vomiting is one symptom which can accompany this illness. The prolonged vomiting may leave an odor similar to feces in the mouth. This of course leads to bad breath.
Sinusitis. Many people experience sinusitis which is an inflammation of the sinuses due to an infection. Most times an infection can clear up in as little as a few days. However in more severe cases, the infection can last anywhere from a few weeks to months. Excessive amounts of mucous can be produced causing it to drip down towards the throat (postnasal drip). When prolonged this may cause bad breath due to the sinus drainage.
Kidney Failure. When the kidneys are not able to function properly it is not able to clean out the system properly. A buildup of waste in the blood takes place and these could be eliminated by the body in various ways. One of which includes odors through the mouth. Patients suffering from kidney failure often have ammonia-like smelling breath which can be offensive. In other times, the odor emitted may smell like urine or have a fishy scent to it.
Liver Dysfunction. This occurs when the liver organ is no longer able to carry out its functions. The liver is responsible for breaking down fat in the body as well as detoxifying it. Once it becomes impaired it is no longer able to do these properly and toxins in the body are not discarded properly. One manifestation of the toxins in the body is bad breath due to the increased amount of bacteria. People suffering from liver problems may have a sweet, fecal like odor in their mouth.
Diabetes. Many sufferers of diabetes have a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a complication which arises from the buildup of fat by-products in the body. When the body needs energy and there is no glucose the body burns the fat by-products. During the process a chemical known as ketone is released into the system. This chemical is emitted from the body through the urine and the mouth as well. As a result of this diabetics often have a metallic taste in their mouth accompanied by halitosis or bad breath.
Chronic Lung Infection. With the lungs connected to the mouth and nose, infections which take place in it may affect the smell of a person’s mouth. Those who suffer from chronic lung infections may have more than just mucus in their respiratory systems. They may also have abscesses in their lungs. The secretions and abscess odors may be emitted when the person breaths. As a result of these secretions and abscesses people with severe pulmonary infections often also have a severe case of bad breath.

Say Cheese And Other Simple Tips For A Whiter Smile 3

Say Cheese And Other Simple Tips For A Whiter Smile

The white color of the teeth in anyone's mouth can be restored by using a process known as teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is done in two ways, either by a professionally trained dental expert, or by yourself at home. This article will give you more information on teeth whitening.

If you have gum disease, a gum infection or unfilled cavities, consult with your family doctor or dentist before using any teeth whitening products. Certain chemicals can make you gum or tooth problem worse. Have any tooth or gum problems fixed or treated before you use any tooth whitening chemicals or procedures.

A great teeth whitening tip is to make sure that you visit the dentist on a regular basis to have your teeth professionally cleaned. This will help to reduce the plaque that builds up on your teeth and will also make sure that you do not have any other oral health issues.

Rinse your mouth out after drinking coffee or tea. They are both well known for staining teeth. For better results, try to eliminate it from your diet altogether. The same goes for soda and wine; they can stain your teeth just as much, if not more than coffee and tea.

One important teeth-whitening tip is to stay away from fluoride as much as possible. While it had been used as a way to strengthen teeth and even added to drinking water, it has now been discovered that it can stain teeth. Many toothpastes may also contain fluoride.

Mixing rock salt with water and gargling nightly can go a long way in your teeth whitening efforts. Not only that, but it's a time-tested recipe for eliminating many dental problems that people have. This is a nightly ritual that must be done, and it is very effective for whitening your teeth.

A great tip that can help you whiten your teeth is to listen to your body. Ease off of whitening products if you start noticing that your gums are bleeding. Irritated gums and teeth are a common symptom of whitening products. Listen to your body and discontinue use if you notice these symptoms.

One of the best ways to prevent your teeth from looking stained and yellow is to quit smoking. Nicotine can often make teeth look yellow, which will make your overall appearance look decades older. There are a variety of reasons to quit smoking, and the state of your teeth is just one of them.

Talk with your dentist before beginning any teeth whitening program. If you currently have any sort of dental disease or issue, your dentist may recommend a specific method of teeth whitening. Most natural remedies do not have side effects, but if you are prone to gum problems or teeth sensitivity, some remedies may not be appropriate.

The natural white color of teeth can be restored by using teeth whitening. The process is done either by a trained professional of dentistry, or by yourself at home. Using the information from the above article, you can use teeth whitening to restore the white color of your smile.

Roles Of Speech Therapist In Laryngectomy Management

Roles Of Speech Therapist In Laryngectomy Management

There are three phases of management for laryngectomy: pre-operative, operative, and post-operative management. Each phase has its advantage and goals. A speech therapist plays vital roles in the first and last phase. Consulting a speech therapist during the first phase is equally important with seeing a therapist during the last phase, which is when voice rehabilitation really begins.

A speech therapist also has different roles in each phase, that’s why it is vital for a therapist to know the two phases he plays a role in.

Pre-operative Management

Pre-operative management includes informing the patient of the anatomical changes, and expectations regarding swallowing, voice, and the family as a part of the team. The therapist also informs the patient on the different speech options he has after the operation.

During this phase, the speech therapist should initiate ordering of the hardware or alternative means of communication. The therapist should also be open to questions that the patient may come up with. This is also the time for him to establish rapport with the patient.

The therapist can also offer re-assuring consultation with appropriate laryngectomee volunteers. This is also the time where he assesses the pre-laryngectomy speech and cognition of the patient. The laryngectomee is also informed with his prognosis, where the potential for recovery and long-term rehabilitation is discussed.

The advantages of this phase would be the evaluation of preoperative speaking skills such as speaking rate, articulation errors, accent patterns, oral opening degree when speaking, and vocal parameters. Cognition and hearing is also evaluated, along with oral-peripheral-mouth strength and sensation. The family can also get emotional support in this phase.

Assessment is done by the use of modified barium swallowing or Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing. The patient’s communication needs are also assessed where living situation, occupation, social requirements and hobbies are looked at.

Postoperative Management

During this phase, the therapist is given an opportunity to help lessen the patient’s fears, and depression. He should also help the patient to accept the loss of voice and swallowing difficulties. The motivation of the patient should be increased, so that he can easily learn how to use alternative speech. Social implications are also addressed. Arrangements for voice rehabilitation are also done during the early parts of this phase.

Firs off, the therapist should confirm if the patient is already medically cleared for therapy. Then he should review the treatment procedure, re-evaluate the patient’s swallowing function then give diet recommendations, and create a treatment plan.

Problems Encountered During Postoperative Management

After the operation some problems may still occur. With regards to Tracheostomy, the patient and therapist should always be watchful of stoma hygiene, cannula hygiene, stoma covers, excessive mucus in the trachea, mucus encrustations in the stoma, and stoma safety and first aid.

There could also be problems related to taste, swallowing, smell and digestion. The patient may find it difficult to trap air within the lungs. This can lead to difficulties in creating internal subglottic pressure, elimination of body waste and childbirth.

Problems of social adjustment may also be present. The patient may find it hard or embarrassing to use alaryngeal speech in public. The altered physical appearance of the patient may also be an issue. Sometimes, the laryngectomee also has unrealistic expectations regarding acquisition of alaryngeal speech.

Areas of Employment for Dental Assistants

Areas of Employment for Dental Assistants

A career as a Dental Assistant will open many doors of opportunity. Dental Assistants will be among the highest growing occupations from now until 2012. This is because people are starting to take a better interest in their oral health. Technological advances have led many individuals to the dentist office for cosmetic dental procedures rather than just cleanings and major dental work. Also, people are living longer, so their teeth need more care to stay healthy throughout their life.

The most common place of employment to find Dental Assistants is in the dental office. Here they provide a variety of services. They often help to comfort scared patients prior to procedures as well as give them follow up care at the end of the appointment. Dental Assistants clean the tools used as well as make sure each work unit has the necessary tools and equipment ready for the next patient’s procedures.

Dental Assistants in the dental office work very closely with Dentists and Hygienists. They often sit in on all procedures, handing staff the necessary tools. Dentist offices are generally small so Dental Assistants often help with lab work. This includes making molds of teeth for caps, bridges, and other dental work. They may also be required to assist with the taking of X-rays.

A common place for Dental Assistants to be employed is in prisons. With more and more prisons being built all over the Nation, Dental Assistants are in great demand for Federal, State, and privately owned prisons. Working as a dental assistant in a prison setting requires more caution that in a regular dental office.

All Nursing Assistants need to be aware of the risk of communicable diseases that are transmitted via saliva and blood. However, the rate of these diseases, especially HIV, is much higher with a prison population than the general public. Also, some inmates might try to attack by biting.

Nursing Assistants in a prison setting need to be alert, and never let down their guard. Inmates often look for any opportunity to escape or obtain weapons. They can use a dental tool as a weapon against you, other staff, or other inmates. It is very important that you keep very close track of all dental tools in a prison setting. Never leave a tool in the reach of an inmate for even a moment. If you discover a tool is missing, immediately notify your supervisor and follow the procedures outlined in the prison policy.

For those Dental Assistants wanting to help the lower income populations, securing employment in a Child Development Center, Head Start, or Migrant program is an excellent way of giving back to the community. Often, these populations can’t afford dental care and would go without it if the services weren’t offered as part of a government program. Employment in these types of agencies as a Dental Assistant often pays less than other employment opportunities in the field. However, many Dental Assistants make the choice to help those in need rather than earn more money.

There are many opportunities to work as a Dental Assistant for agencies who serve the disabled. Often, Dental Assistants are afraid to work with such a population. However, once you feel comfortable with disabled people and their disabilities, you will be able to provide proper care to those who are in need, regardless of their mental capacity or physical appearance.

A career as a Dental Assistant offers you many areas of employment including dental offices, prisons, low income programs, and for facilities who serve the disabled. The ability to choose the type of environment you want to use your Dental Assistant skills in makes the field even more inviting. If you are not sure if a particular type of agency is a good fit for you, talk to them. Ask if you can shadow another Dental Assistant who works there for a few days. This should give you plenty of exposure to the activities that take place in that agency.

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