Regulatory and Advisory Agencies: A Dental Assisting Guide

It is important for dental assistants to become familiar with government agencies and dental assisting organizations that regulate and advise the practice of dentistry. Penalties for non-compliance with regulations may include fines, imprisonment, suspension or revocation of licenses. Other agencies only advise with no penalties for non-compliance. Both agencies are good resources for dental assistants and are easily accessible on the Internet.

Advisory Associations and Organizations

A few advisory associations and organizations support dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists and other dental professionals with research, information and standards to keep patients safe and healthy. These advisory associations and organizations include the American Dental Association (ADA), American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA), American Dental Hygienist’s Association (ADHA), Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and National Dental Assistants Association (NDAA).

American Dental Association (ADA) – the national professional organization of dentists with more than 150,000 members. The ADA offers a Seal of Acceptance for over 300 oral health products including toothpaste, dental floss, toothbrushes, mouth rinses, denture adherents and chewing gum.

American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) – represents dental assistants with members that include clinical dental assistants, receptionists, dental office managers, and other administrative dental professionals. The goal of the ADAA is education, registration and certification for dental assisting professionals.

American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) – the national professional organization for dental hygienists. The goal of the ADHA is to provide members with the highest standards of professional support and educational programs.

Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) – the national certification board for dental assistants. With more than 37,000 members in the United States, the DANB offers certification programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

National Dental Assistants Association (NDAA) – members include dental office managers, dental assistants, receptionists in dental offices, treatment coordinators, clinical coordinators, finance specialist and other office personal in a dental office, excluding the Dentist and Hygienist. The goal of the NDAA is to provide an opportunity for intellectual growth and development through certified continuing education programs.

Governmental Regulatory and Advisory Agencies

A few regulatory and advisory agencies run by the Federal government to help educate, monitor and regulate the dental industry. These governmental regulatory and advisory agencies include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute of Health (NIH), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that protects the health and safety of Americans. The infection control procedures for dentistry are based on the Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Healthcare Settings issued by the CDC in 2003.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – a regulatory agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA regulates the manufacturing and labeling of medical devices used in dentistry. The FDA must approve sterilizers, biologic and chemical indicators, ultrasonic cleaners and cleaning solutions, liquid sterilant, gloves, masks, protective eyewear, dental handpieces and instruments, dental chairs, dental unit lights, antimicrobial handwashing products and mouth rinses.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – a regulatory agency that ensures the safety and effectiveness of disinfectants. The EPA is also involved in regulating waste materials and chemicals that are disposed of by the dental office.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) a deferral regulatory agency responsible for ensuring the safety and health of dental professionals. OSHA sets and enforces protective standards that dental employers must follow to provide a safe workplace for employees. OSHA set the Blood-Borne Pathogens Standards and the Hazard Communication Standard.

National Institute of Health (NIH) – a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that conducts and supports medical research. NIH scientists conduct research to identify the causes, treatments, and cures for common and rate diseases. The NIH also supports researchers with leadership and financial support throughout the world.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) – the dental research institute of the NIH that promotes the general health of Americans by improving their oral, dental and craniofacial health. Through research, the NIDCR promotes health, prevents disease and develops new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) part of the CDC that does not have regulatory authority and is responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease and injury.

Want to learn more about dental regulatory and advisory agencies? Ready to take a program to become a dental assistant? The Dental Assistant Program prepares a graduate to work as an entry-level Dental Assistant, Dental Receptionist, Office Manager or Dental Hygienist Assistant in a dental office, specialty practice, or dental clinic.? PCI Health Training Center Richardson, TX Campus offers the dental assistant program. Contact PCI Health Training Center for more information on how to become a dental assistant and start a rewarding career today.

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