Certified Dental Assistants
Careers: Certified Dental Assistants can receive hands-on training to enter the dental field in the state of Ohio, but must also take and pass the Ohio Board for Certified Dental Assisting: http://www.codacertification.org. After graduating an accelerated program and practicing for 2 years the dental assistant can take the Dental Assisting National Board Exam (DANB) to work anywhere in the US: https://www.danb.org/Meet-State-Requirements/State-Specific-Information/Ohio.aspx. One can also go to a 2-year program and the boards will be included. Certified dental assistants can assist the DDS and can also take additional training to place dental sealants and polish teeth as well.
Dental Hygiene Assistant
Careers: The Hygiene Assistant’s primary responsibility is to provide complete assistance to the Dental Hygienist, helping the Hygienist maintain the schedule of patients. Critical duties and responsibilities include:
- charting for the dental hygienist,
- taking radiographs, placing sealants if applicable,
- taking dental impressions,
- flossing teeth,
- fluoride treatment on a patient if applicable, and
- daily assisting duties when needed to the dentist as well.
Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA)
After one becomes a certified dental assistant and with 9 additional months of training as an EFDA (1 day a week for 9 months in Ohio), he/she can become an EFDA after passing the boards for this training. An Expanded Functions Dental Assistant, or EFDA, is a dental assistant with extra responsibilities and duties. They have more training and additional licenses/certifications than dental assistants and their permitted duties are extended to include procedures such as placing dental fillings! The duties of an EFDA include all of those of a typical dental assistant as well. EFDA’s have the potential of making the same income as a dental hygienist.
Treatment Plan Coordinator
A Treatment Coordinator tries to create sales in the dental office by educating the patient on the dental treatment they need after it has been diagnosed by the DDS. A treatment coordinator closes or assists in closing the treatment plans generated by the dentist. They take responsibility for the entire patient base and work toward having no patients with incomplete treatment plans. They will help and guide the patients on maximizing their insurance benefits and finding a way to make the treatment affordable to the patients in the practice.
Office Team Members
Front Office Team Member: Dental Office Team Members work in the front office of dental practices. They are typically the first point of contact over the phone or upon arrival. As a front office team member you would be scheduling new patients, greeting patients and other guests as they walk in the door, verifying insurance benefits, creating new accounts and maintaining existing patient accounts, and undertaking other non-clinical tasks of an administrative nature; such as communicating with specialty offices to schedule patients, taking payments, and helping the treatment coordinator maximize insurance benefits.
Dental Office Manager: The dental office manager makes the dental office run from behind the scenes. This is typically the person in charge of the dental office and keeps it up and going. Dental office managers serve as leaders in the practice. Their wide-ranging duties may include supervising staff, hiring and firing team members, turning in employee’s hours for pay, maintaining appointment schedules, coordinating patient treatment, or overseeing the billing that keeps the office open (ie: payment of utilities, etc). Each individual office can have different roles for their office managers.