Each state has their own board of dentistry that provides each dentist, hygienist and assistant rules and regulations regarding the practice of dentistry. The state of Oklahoma makes very clear what each of these professionals can do within the scope of practice. Focusing on the Dental Assistant, there are levels of acquired knowledge referred to as “Expanded Functions” that allow assistants to provide additional services to patients under the supervision of their employing dentists. These include:
1. Radiation Safety
A dental assistant holding this expanded duty permit may expose intra-oral and extraoral radiographs.
2. Coronal Polishing and Topical Fluoride
A dental assistant holding this expanded duty permit may polish coronal surfaces of teeth, or prepare teeth for band cementation or bonding of brackets utilizing a slow speed rotary hand piece and rubber cup or brush and apply topical fluoride and desensitizing agents.
A dental assistant holding this expanded duty permit may place pit and fissure sealants.
4. Assisting in the Administration of Nitrous Oxide
A dental assistant holding this expanded duty permit may assist a dentist or a dental hygienist who holds an advanced procedure permit in the administration of nitrous oxide.
Each of these courses required additional education and proof of competency. Information can be found on the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry or Oklahoma Dental Foundation websites.
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