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Modern Dental Assisting: History, Ethics and Law

Dental assistants are important members of the dental healthcare team. A career as a dental assistant can be exciting, challenging, and very rewarding. The educated dental assistant can look forward to job satisfaction, variety, and financial reward. It is a career that offers opportunities for recent high school graduates, as well as for individuals who may be older and wish to return to school and change careers.

Professionalism is difficult to define. It is an attitude that is apparent in everything a person says and does, at and away from the office. Professionalism distinguishes people who "have a job" from those who "pursue a career." By always behaving in a professional manner, the dental assistant earns respect and recognition as a dental health care professional.

The chapters in this section are designed to provide an overview of the dental profession. It begins with alook at the history of dentistry through the ages, introduces the other members of the dental healthcareteam, and explains the legal and ethical responsibilities expected of a dental professional.

Modern Dental Assisting: History, Ethics and Law

6 credit hours - $60.00 ORDER NOW

Modern Dental Assisting: History, Ethics and Law

Modern Dental Assisting: History, Ethics and Law
(book and test) Traditional Hardcopy

6 hours    $60.00

Modern Dental Assisting: History, Ethics and Law
(PDF and test by email) Online Only

6 hours    $60.00

Last reviewed: October 1, 2015
Expires: October 1, 2018

Modern Dental Assisting: History, Ethics and Law

About the Authors

DONI L. BIRD Until her retirement in 2012, she was the director of the Allied Dental Education Programs at Santa Rose Junior College (SRJC) in Santa Rosa, California. She continues to teach part-time at SRJC. Before becoming a dental assisting educator, she practiced as a dental assistant in private practice and at Mount Zion Hospital and Medical Center in San Francisco. Doni holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and Master's Degree in Education from San Francisco State University and a degree in dental hygiene from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She has served as a member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of OSAP (Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention). She is a member of the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) and has served as president of the Northern California Dental Assistants Association and as chairman of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). She has served on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Dental Assisting Teachers (CADAT) and serves as a consultant in dental assisting education to the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association (ADA). She has served as a member and president of the California Dental Hygiene Educators Association and a member of the Foundation Board of the California Dental Association. Doni has written many articles and presented numerous continuing education programs at major state and national meetings.

DEBBIE S. ROBINSON is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health and School of Dentistry. Her educational background includes an Associate's Degree in Dental Assisting from Broward Community College, a Bachelor's Degree in Health Administration from Florida Atlantic University, and a Master's Degree in Dental Auxiliary Teachers Education from the University of North Carolina. Debbie practiced as a clinical dental assistant for 7 years in a pediatric dental office, as well as in the dental research center and special patient care clinic while in graduate school. With more than 20 years of teaching, Debbie served as Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Dental Assisting Program and Dental Assisting Specialty Program at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, as well as holding teaching positions at community college settings in Florida and North Carolina. She has presented continuing education for practicing dental assistants at local, state, and international meetings. She has served as a member of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) test construction committee for two terms and has authored and co-authored journal articles for The Dental Assistant, as well as scientific papers. Additional endeavors include consulting with community colleges and proprietary schools in the development of new dental assisting programs across the country.

Modern Dental Assisting: History, Ethics and Law

Course Objectives

When you complete this course, you will take a written or online test that measures your ability to identify:

  1. History of Dental Assisting to current day.
  2. The duties of a Dental Assistant.
  3. The moral and ethical issues facing the dental assistant.
  4. Overriding laws of the Dental Practice Act as they pertain to the Dental Assistant.
  5. The relationship of the patient and the Dental Assistant.

Modern Dental Assisting: History, Ethics and Law

Table of Contents

When you complete this course, you will take a written or online test that measures your ability to identify:

  • History of Dentistry
  • The Professional Dental Assistant
  • The Dental Healthcare Team
  • Dental Ethics
  • Dentistry and the Law
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