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Military Dental Assistants

Ask the Expert ForumCategory: Ethics & Risk ManagementMilitary Dental Assistants
Avatarguestuser Staff asked 5 years ago

I work for the government and am active duty military. Due to budget cuts, several RDHs have been let go, but in order to keep our ‘numbers up’ they are now pushing assistants through a 3-day course to learn to polish teeth. They can’t name the instruments they are now using on people or how to sharpen them, AND are allowed to use the cavitron. How can this be legal and accepted as proper treatment?

1 Answers
Michele Carr, RDH, MAMichele Carr, RDH, MA Staff answered 11 months ago

There are programs that train military personnel to become dental assistants or dental specialists in as little as 48 days.1,2 This training varies from assisting the dentist to dental hygiene procedures. State practice acts may not always coincide with military practice acts/job descriptions of a dental assistant. What a dental assistant can do in the military can be very different than the permissible practices of a dental assistant in any particular state and is legal within the military setting.

1. http://www.airforce.com/careers/detail/dental-assistant
2. http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/browse-career-and-jobs-categories/medical-and-emergencies/dental-specialist/html