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Dental Assistant and Dental Hygienist: Career & Organizations

This guide will provide help in accessing information on Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene.

Dental Hygiene

The Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) is a member of the oral health care team who provides treatment to prevent oral diseases, under the supervision of a dentist. Clinical skills include performing oral health assessments, examining head, neck and oral regions for disease, exposing, processing and mounting x-rays and other diagnostic tests, removing deposits from teeth, applying sealants and fluoride to prevent decay, providing nutritional counseling and patient education and other patient services as delegated by the dentist.

Dental hygienists are also involved in community dental education and public health.

Dental Assisting

The dental assistant's scope of responsibilities are determined by educational preparation, type of practice and the laws of the state in which one is employed. Chairside dental assisting duties include preparing the patient for treatment, sterilizing and selecting instruments, assembling materials and equipment, organizing the work area, assisting the dentist in all phases of treatment, exposing, processing and mounting dental radiographs, providing instruction in oral hygiene and nutrition, and performing a variety of intraoral expanded functions.

Other responsibilities include office management duties, which include scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records and financial accounts, preparing insurance forms, collecting payments, and ordering and maintaining supplies. Dental assistants also perform laboratory procedures such as pouring impressions, trimming study models, fabricating custom trays and preparing base plates and bite rims.

Professional Organizations

American Dental Hygienists' Association

ADHA believes in helping dental hygienists achieve their full potential as they seek to improve the public’s oral health. We support your goals by helping to ensure access to quality oral health care; promoting dental hygiene education, licensure, practice and research; and representing your legislative interests at the local, state and federal levels.

New Jersey Dental Hygienist Association

The New Jersey Dental Hygienists' Association (NJDHA) is the organization representing the professional interests of dental hygienists in New Jersey. NJDHA is a constituent of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA).


American Dental Assistants Association

 To advance the careers of dental assistants and to promote the dental assisting profession in matters of education, legislation, credentialing and professional activities which enhance the delivery of quality dental health care to the public.


New Jersey Dental Assistant Association

The mission of the New Jersey Dental Assistants' Association is to enrich the dental assisting profession by providing educational opportunities for personal and professional development; to contribute to the dental and general welfare of the residents of New Jersey; to fortify the presence and strength of the New Jersey Dental Assistants' Association, as well as develop and maintain a cooperative working environment within the dental profession.

American Dental Association

The ADA is the professional association of dentists that fosters the success of a diverse membership and advances the oral health of the public.

 Organization for Safety & Asepsis Procedures

OSAP is a unique group of dental educators and consultants, researchers, clinicians, industry representatives, and other interested persons with a collective mission to be the world's leading advocate for the safe and infection-free delivery of oral healthcare. OSAP supports this commitment to oral healthcare workers and the public through quality education and information dissemination. OSAP is comprised of two separate but linked organizations:

Medical Librarian

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Judith Cohn
Rutgers Health Sciences Libraries
Subjects: Kinesiology

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