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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BECOMING A DENTAL ASSISTANT AT NATIONAL ACADEMY

2017-08-04 by Mark Harrington

Did you know the dental industry not only has a growing demand for Dental Assistants but also allows industry professionals to work flexible hours and enjoy the benefits of working in a stable work environment? Like all career choices, you have to consider the satisfaction that becoming a Dental Assistant will bring you. If you are considering a career as a Dental Assistant, below are a few things you should expect after graduation from National Academy.

Be Job Ready Upon Graduating

The National Academy Dental Assistant diploma program allows students to obtain valuable skills for the demanding job market. Since Dental Assistants are expected to perform a wide variety of tasks, the skills you learn during your training will come in handy when you get to the job market. Dental Assistants are required to perform many things including prepping patients for dental procedures, sterilizing instruments and developing or taking x-rays. There are so many responsibilities you will never be bored!

Patient Care and Customer Service

As a Dental Assistant, you will interact a lot with patients. You might even be the first contact when patients come to the dental clinic or hospital even before they meet the dentist.  This is an opportunity for you to interact with people from all walks of life and experience connecting with people that help build your professional social skills. So

Many Jobs!

When you pursue a career as a Dental Assistant, there will be a lot of very promising job opportunities. The salaries for Dental Assistants are also very good when compared to other industries and most healthcare facilities will offer attractive vacation pay and benefits.

Work Flexible Hours

There is a ton of flexibility when it comes to working as a Dental Assistant.  You can have the option to work a typical 9-5 position or go for a job that allows you to work evenings and weekends.  It really all depends to what you are looking for! For more information about becoming a Dental Assistant and starting your career in less than year, please contact Admissions at National Academy.  Visit us online www.NAHB.ca and phone one of our three campuses to set up an appointment with Admissions.

National Academy of Health & Business
Your College. Since 1979
www.NAHB.ca
Toronto – 416 545 0404
Mississauga – 905 273 6656
Hamilton – 905 521 9991

NAHB logo with year

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BECOMING A DENTAL ASSISTANT AT NATIONAL ACADEMY

2017-07-17 by Mark Harrington

Dental-Assistant_nahbcollege

Did you know the dental industry not only has a growing demand for Dental Assistants but also allows industry professionals to work flexible hours and enjoy the benefits of working in a stable work environment? Like all career choices, you have to consider the satisfaction that becoming a Dental Assistant will bring you. If you are considering a career as a Dental Assistant, below are a few things you should expect after graduation from National Academy.

Be Job Ready Upon Graduating

The National Academy Dental Assistant diploma program allows students to obtain valuable skills for the demanding job market. Since Dental Assistants are expected to perform a wide variety of tasks, the skills you learn during your training will come in handy when you get to the job market. Dental Assistants are required to perform many things including prepping patients for dental procedures, sterilizing instruments and developing or taking x-rays. There are so many responsibilities you will never be bored!

Patient Care and Customer Service

As a Dental Assistant, you will interact a lot with patients. You might even be the first contact when patients come to the dental clinic or hospital even before they meet the dentist.  This is an opportunity for you to interact with people from all walks of life and experience connecting with people that help build your professional social skills.

So Many Jobs!

When you pursue a career as a Dental Assistant, there will be a lot of very promising job opportunities. The salaries for Dental Assistants are also very good when compared to other industries and most healthcare facilities will offer attractive vacation pay and benefits.

Work Flexible Hours

There is a ton of flexibility when it comes to working as a Dental Assistant.  You can have the option to work a typical 9-5 position or go for a job that allows you to work evenings and weekends.  It really all depends to what you are looking for!

For more information about becoming a Dental Assistant and starting your career in less than year, please contact Admissions at National Academy.  Visit us online www.NAHB.ca and phone one of our three campuses to set up an appointment with Admissions.

Toronto – 416 545 0404
Mississauga – 905 273 6656
Hamilton – 905 521 9991

 NAHB logo with year

3 Common Causes of Jaw Pain: A Guide for Students in Dental Assistant Training

2016-05-04 by Mark Harrington

patient complains of toothache

When talking, eating, swallowing, or even touching the jaw area causes pain, patient’s know: it’s time to book an appointment with their local dentist’s office. If you’re considering a career in the dental field, it’s wise to prepare for the jaw problems your future patients will experience. After all, the jaw is one of the most frequently used joints in the body! It often needs expert attention.

Jaw pain is any kind of discomfort felt in the jaw area, made up of the lower jaw (mandible or ‘jaw bone’), temporomandibular joint (connecting the mandible to the temporal bone of the skull) and surrounding soft tissues.  Whether occurring suddenly or building up over time, jaw discomfort can feel like a dull ache, a sharp pain, or even restrict the mobility of the lower face.

Jaw pain is generally caused by a few key factors. To get you started on a successful dental assisting career of your own, here are three common causes of jaw pain to know.

1. Teeth Grinding: Learn About this Common Condition During Dental Assistant Training

Jaw pain is occasionally an indicator of serious diseases, disorders, and dental conditions—but most often, the relatively mild condition of teeth grinding is to blame for a patient’s discomfort.

Many people grind their teeth when they feel stressed, or unconsciously while they sleep. If left untreated, grinding can lead to tooth damage and lasting jaw pain. In your dental assistant training you will learn how to recognize teeth grinders while you perform routine cleanings. During your studies, you’ll also come to understand effective treatment methods for teeth grinders, including stress-relieving exercises and the nightly use of a custom mouth guard that protects teeth and the jaw from damage.

Teeth-grinding can be easily treated with a mouth guard

Teeth-grinding can be easily treated with a mouth guard

2. TMD: A Common, Complex Jaw Issue Studied in Dental Assistant Schools

When patients complain to skilled dental assistants about jaw pain, dental assistants often ask whether the patient experiences ‘clicking’ just in front of their ears when chewing or opening their mouths wide. A clicking jaw is a telltale sign of trouble in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), known to dental professionals as temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

TMD can be caused by wear and tear, injury, or infection in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues surrounding the joint. In severe cases, TMD can even cause the jaw to become permanently stuck in an open or closed position. When patients have regular dental appointments, dental assistants can recognize problematic TMD symptoms before the disorder becomes too serious.

3. An Abscessed Tooth: Deep Discomfort Dental Assistants Can Help Resolve

If you’re considering a dental assistant career, you likely already understand the value and importance of keeping teeth healthy. Students in dental assistant schools know that a clean and healthy smile comes from regular dental exams, treatments, and professional cleanings.

Jaw pain can often come as a result of neglecting oral health. For example, if cavities aren’t treated promptly and left for an extended period of time, infections can drive deeper into a patient’s teeth and make a home within patients’ jaws. When bacteria from cavities spread from the root of the tooth to surrounding bone tissue, a patient is left with an abscessed tooth and sore jaw.

With the right training, you’ll learn how to properly identify an abscessed tooth and assist a dentist performing the invasive oral surgeries necessary for healing its surrounding area—helping patients find relief from this painful problem.

Would you like to enroll in a top dental assistant program?

Visit NAHB to get started!

A Dental Assistant’s Guide to Helping Patients Choose the Right Toothbrush

2015-08-05 by Mark Harrington

Toothbrushes

Given the sheer number of options out there (sometimes spanning a whole aisle at the pharmacy), choosing the right toothbrush can be a confusing task. When it comes to modern dental care, there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution.

In fact, toothbrushes are now available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Additionally, every toothbrush features different types of bristles as well as bristle patterns.

Some patients might even feel like selecting the perfect toothbrush requires a dental college diploma, or at least some expert guidance from a certified dental assistant!

If you are planning to enroll in dental assistant courses, or you have already started your program, read on to learn more about the surprisingly complex world of toothbrushes—and how you can break it all down for your future patients.

Dental Assistants Know that Size Matters

While toothbrushes come in many sizes, dental assistant school graduates know that the head of a toothbrush should offer the user easy access to the surface of his or her teeth. Children generally have very small mouths and teeth; therefore, a toothbrush with a head size between 1.5cm and 2cm would be most effective. Most adults require a toothbrush that is at least an inch tall, as their teeth and mouths are much larger than those of children.

It’s important to note that if a toothbrush is not the right size, it can become very difficult to maneuver while brushing. Remember that effective brushing consists of reaching every area of the mouth, including the backs and sides of the molars.

Understanding Bristle Varieties as a Dental Assistant

Toothbrushes are available with soft, medium or hard nylon bristles. During your dental assistant training, you will learn that soft bristles are the safest and most comfortable choice for the majority of people, especially children. Dental pros generally warn vigorous brushers to steer clear of medium- and hard-bristled brushes, since these could damage the gums, root surface and tooth enamel. Medium and hard bristles work well for individuals with poor manual dexterity, or those who tend to brush very gently.

Bristle Patterns Play an Important Role

The way the bristles are arranged on a toothbrush is referred to as the bristle pattern. You may have noticed that the bristle pattern is sometimes different on select toothbrushes. Industry experts understand that different patterns affect the way that plaque and debris is removed from the teeth. Here is a quick guide to the some of the most popular options:

Block pattern: bristles are all the same height and length and arranged neatly.

Wavy pattern: bristles are arranged in a wavy (or v-shaped) pattern, allowing for better contact with areas around tooth surfaces.

Crisscross pattern: bristles are arranged in a crisscross pattern to lift plaque effectively.

Dental assistants typically help patients select their ideal toothbrush after considering their specific needs, brushing behavior, and general oral health. They may even perform a quick demonstration to show patients how they can fully maximize their toothbrush’s unique features.

Are you considering enrolling in a dental assistant program? Visit NAHB for more information or to speak with an advisor.

What’s In The Tube: The Truth About Toothpaste

2015-01-21 by Mark Harrington

Blue morning

Most people brush their teeth at least twice a day (if not more) and they likely establish a routine, as well as certain preferences for performing the task. People will usually grow accustomed to using a specific type of toothbrush and a certain brand of toothpaste. And while toothpaste is not something that people will typically think too much about, it might surprise many to know exactly what their favourite brand contains!

If you are planning to pursue dental assistant training, you will learn that the average toothpaste contains a wide range of ingredients – and some of these might not be entirely healthy! Read on to find out what toothpaste is actually made of, and how it affects your pearly whites.

Fluorides

Students enrolled in dental assistant programs understand that, contrary to popular belief, fluoride does not clean your teeth – it’s actually used for strengthening and hardening the tooth enamel.

Abrasives

Most toothpaste brands contain abrasives. These are the ingredients responsible for actually cleaning the teeth. Some examples of abrasives include baking soda, calcium carbonate and silica. Professionals in the industry know that toothpaste containing high levels of abrasives can actually do more harm than good, since they can weaken the enamel.

Surfactants

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is the surfactant that is used in most toothpaste. It is a detergent that’s responsible for creating foam while brushing. Though it helps break down stains and dirt, it can also be quite tough on the teeth and can be the cause of canker sores.

Antibacterial agents

Individuals who have earned their dental school diploma recognize that subjecting the human body to too much triclosan – the antibacterial agent that’s most commonly used in toothpaste – can sometimes be harmful. However, studies have shown that there is too little of it in toothpaste to cause any real harm. And since trilcosan is used to fight bacteria found in plaque, the teeth and gums actually benefit from this ingredient.

Sweeteners

Since some other ingredients may taste pretty awful, sweeteners – like stevia, xylitol or saccharin – are used to improve and balance the flavour of toothpaste. Experts in the field will normally recommend using products that contain xylitol, because it also increases the flow of saliva and can even prevent tooth decay.

Coloring agents

If you’ve ever wondered how most toothpastes get their colouring, anyone with a career in the dental industry can confirm that there are artificial dyes (Blue #1 and Blue #2) which are used to achieve those pretty shades of blue and green. However, if these colorants are swallowed, they can irritate the respiratory system, as well as the digestive tract. This is why most dental professionals will warn patients about swallowing too much toothpaste!

The Best Way to Use Toothpaste

The secret ingredient behind any effective toothpaste is actually the person applying it to the toothbrush. Once you’ve completed your training and have entered the workforce, you will find yourself providing patients with these helpful tips on the best uses for toothpaste:

  • Avoid using too much toothpaste – a dollop the size of a pea is more than enough.
  • Take at least two minutes (or more) to perform a thorough cleaning
  • Pay attention to ensure that you’ve brushed all areas of the mouth

A certified dental assistant can confirm that the brushing technique is far more important than the toothpaste that’s being used – however, it is always important to look at the ingredients when selecting (or recommending) a toothpaste, because as you now know, there are some ingredients that can be somewhat harmful.

What do you like most about your go-to toothpaste brand?

National Academy of Health and Business upcoming start dates

2014-12-15 by Mark Harrington

We have been asked to set out our upcoming January start dates (see below) – one of the most popular months of the year to begin College.

Feel free to click on any of the links below or call to speak with one of our experienced career counselors for more information on how you can begin training towards your career of choice as well as which funding option best suits your situation (including Government Assistance, to those who qualify). Let us help you get your 2015 off to the right start!

Many of our programs also offer afternoon, evening and/or weekend training schedules.

Why National Academy?

  • All of our programs take less than a year to complete.
  • All of our programs qualify for Government assistance, to those who qualify.
  • We have been a registered career college since 1979, making us one of the most established colleges in Ontario.
  • All instructors have real world experience.
  • Our support team guide you through your entire education process, including making sure that you’re career ready by the time you graduate. We do not stop working with our students until they get a job!
  • Unlimited upgrade training and career service support throughout your entire career (at no charge).

Mississauga campus: 1 888 306 0991

Hamilton campus: 1 888 446 4649

Toronto campus: 1 866 797 6312

January, 2015 Start Dates

(Additional Starts Dates Also Available)

Mississauga Campus Hamilton Campus Toronto Campus
Dental Assistant (Level 1 & 2) Diploma

Day, Evening and Weekend Classes.

Starts January 26, 2015

Dental Assistant (Level 1 & 2) Diploma

Day & Afternoon Classes.

Starts January 12, 2015

Dental Assistant (Level 1 & 2) Diploma

Day & Evening Classes.

Starts January 26, 2015

Early Childcare Assistant Diploma

Starts January 5, 2015

Early Childcare Assistant Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Early Childcare Assistant Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Physiotherapy Assistant Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Physiotherapy Assistant Diploma

Starts January 5, 2015

Physiotherapy Assistant Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Police Foundations Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Police Foundations Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Police Foundations Diploma

Starts January 19, 2015

Community Services Worker Diploma

Starts January 5, 2015

Community Services Worker Diploma

Starts January 5, 2015

Community Services Worker Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Personal Support Worker Diploma

Day & Evening Classes.

Starts January 12, 2015 (day & evening)

Personal Support Worker Diploma

Day & Evening Classes.

Starts January 26, 2015

Accounting & Payroll Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Accounting & Payroll Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Accounting & Payroll Diploma

Starts January 5, 2015

Supply Chain and Logistics

Starts January 26, 2015

Business Administration Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

Medical Laboratory Technician Diploma

Starts April 20, 2015

 
Office Administration Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

 
Business Management Diploma – New

Starts January 26, 2015

 
Pharmacy Technician Diploma

Starts January 26, 2015

 
Medical Laboratory Technician Diploma

Day & Evening Classes.

January 26, 2015

 

 

 
Medical Office Assistant Diploma

Day, Afternoon & Evening Classes.

Starts January 26, 2015

 
Supply Chain and Logistics

Starts January 12, 2015

   

 

 

Tooth-Friendly Foods for Great Intra-Oral Health

2014-11-26 by Mark Harrington

Tooth-Friendly Foods for Great Intra-Oral Health

We’d like to think that brushing our teeth, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash are all it takes to get (and keep) a great smile, but many people forget that certain foods can harm our teeth, despite our best efforts at protection. Acids, sugars, tannins and more occur naturally in the foods we eat, and too much of one substance – even if it seems healthy – can lead to an imbalance in our intra-oral health. Whether you’re training at dental school or just want to avoid cavities and stained teeth, it’s important to know which foods can help improve the condition of your teeth, and which foods you should steer clear of.

Dairy

Cheese, milk and yogurt are all excellent sources of calcium. As any student in a dental assistant program will know, our teeth are mainly composed of calcium. Drinking a tall glass of milk or consuming any other dairy products works to strengthen tooth enamel. The calcium in cheese actually infiltrates the layer of plaque surrounding your teeth to prevent erosion. Dairy also contains casein, an animal protein which is important for the reparation of tooth enamel. All around, dairy definitely scores big points in maintaining a healthy smile!

High-fibre Foods

If you think back to the last time you ate a salad or an apple, you may recall that both these foods generally take a bit of work (and time) to chew and swallow. This is because they are full of fibre. High-fibre foods are great for your oral health because they promote the production of saliva, and while you’re chewing, they actually scrub at your teeth and wear away plaque. The crunchier the better, because the longer you chew, the more dental plaque is disturbed and bacteria are washed away. Just make sure you floss afterwards to catch that stray piece of spinach in your teeth!

Nuts

Nuts are a fantastic alternative to starchy or sugary snacks—not only do they fill you up better, they also provide the body and teeth with important minerals and vitamins. Peanuts contain calcium and vitamin D (which helps absorb calcium), almonds are well-known for being high in calcium, and cashews stimulate tooth-cleaning saliva. Walnuts are an incredible source of iron (prevents sores in the mouth), zinc (controls plaque, hardens teeth) and Vitamin E (helps control inflammation). We give nuts two thumbs up.

Worst Offenders: Soda, Sweets and Starchy Snacks

There’s a reason they’re called junk food! Any intra-oral dental course will instruct you that foods full of sugar will erode your teeth. Most sweets are eaten as a snack, meaning there is no food or excess saliva to wash away the sugars. If you do plan to eat sweets, it’s best to eat them with other foods or after a meal, when there is plenty of saliva being produced for digestion. Sodas are particularly nasty offenders because the carbonation and sugar combination thins the enamel on your teeth. Starchy snacks like chips, breads and crackers also don’t do much good for your intra-oral health, because starches convert to sugar almost as soon as they are broken down by acids in the mouth. Bacteria then feed off these sugars, causing tooth decay.

What’s your go-to tooth-friendly food?

A Guide to Pediatric Dentistry

2014-11-19 by Mark Harrington

Dental hygiene principlesIt is recommended that children begin seeing a dentist early in life to instill good dental practices. However, the sound of tools, unknown contraptions like X-rays and surgical masks can scare a child, which is why it is best that they meet with a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentistry is a specialized branch of dentistry which focuses solely on children, meaning the employees working at a pediatric dental office have attended dental school or a dental assistant program to learn the best ways to treat young patients.

When Should a Child First See the Dentist?

Dental habits are ingrained early in life, so it is recommended to take your child to the dentist approximately six months after their first tooth comes in. Some early dental conditions common to children include baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritation, gum disease and prolonged thumb-sucking. Some of these conditions require dental attention very early, while others will be monitored by the pediatric dentist throughout future visits. Baby bottle tooth decay is a serious condition which affects the upper front teeth, and is caused by prolonged exposure to drinks which contain sugar. The condition can arise when a child is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle takes the place of a pacifier. Thumb-sucking is a common dental concern for parents, but the American Dental Association has recently stated that a child can safely suck their thumb up to six years of age without damaging their jaw alignment.

Common Procedures

Pediatric procedures are often less invasive than many adult procedures, such as tooth extraction. One very common dental procedure for children is oral prophylaxis. Someone with dental assistant training knows that although the term sounds complex, oral prophylaxis is simply a technical term to describe teeth cleaning for children. This is a light cleaning involving minimal tools, paired with oral hygiene education instruction to the child from the dentist. Another common procedure in pediatric dentistry is the application of fluoride. Fluoride is applied to prevent decay in children’s teeth, and comes in the form of gels, foams and varnishes. Pediatric dentists will often use sealant to fill pits and fissures in a child’s teeth, which protects molars from tooth decay and cavities by keeping out bacteria.

How to Soothe Nervous Children

The best way to approach a child’s first trip to the pediatric dentist is to make the visit a positive experience. It is best to avoid words like shot, pinch or pain, and a parent shouldn’t reveal too many details about the dental procedure to avoid making the child nervous. A parent or guardian may mimic a “pretend visit” to the dentist at home, but it is important to avoid pretend drilling or using any other invasive instruments. You may tell the child that a dentist will just “check his/her smile” as a way to make the check-up less mysterious to the child. A pediatric dental office will often take steps themselves to make the atmosphere positive and inviting. The waiting room may have toys or structures which imitate a playground, and will use bright colourful wall paint to let a child know that it is a safe space.

What tips do you have for a child’s first visit to the dentist? 

Strategies for Soothing Anxious Dental Patients

2014-10-22 by Mark Harrington

Dental school

If you have ever felt nervous at the dental office, rest assured that dental anxiety is not just the rehashing of silly childhood fears, or a make-believe condition. A survey by the American Association of Endodontists found that 80% of adult Americans genuinely fear the dentist. The truth is, nobody really enjoys having a mouthful of metal tools – and all of that poking and prodding can be very invasive. Elderly citizens are more likely to have dental fear, due to memories of previous procedures done when anaesthesia wasn’t as efficient and dental offices focused less on comfort. If you have ever completed an internship as part of a dental assistant program, you’ll have witnessed this anxiety up close, and probably took on the responsibility of calming a patient. While everyone reacts differently in stressful situations, there are a few common strategies used by dentists and dental assistants to help patients feel more at ease.

Distractions

Most dental offices these days are equipped with a television so patients can watch movies or TV shows while awaiting or receiving treatment. Not only does this distract patients from their procedures, but it also gives the dental office a warmer, less intimidating atmosphere. Some dental offices might play music in the background, or even allow you to listen to your own music on earphones. “Dental spa” is a nickname for certain practices where patients are treated to complimentary spa-like services such as mini massages, or hand or foot treatments during the dental procedure.

Communication

One of the best ways to keep anxiety at bay is remove the mystery behind dental procedures. The “tell-show-do” technique can be used effectively for adults and children, explaining techniques and procedures before and while they happen, much as you were taught in dental assistant school. Show them the equipment you are using and explain what it will be used for. Breaking down your approach into steps helps reassure patients, letting them know exactly what they will experience next and why. Language is also very important when dealing with anxious patients. Informing patients that they may feel a bit of pain, rather than telling them they’ll feel nothing at all, is a practice that builds trust. A dentist and dental assistant should avoid using words like “shot”, “hurt” or “needle”, as these terms invoke nervousness and negativity.

Pharmacological Techniques

In cases where behavioural and psychological approaches have been unsuccessful, a patient may request to be sedated. Many types of sedation methods are taught in dental school, but the oldest method used by dentists is nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas. This sedative is inhaled by the patient, and produces a conscious relaxation and disassociation. Other options include an oral sedative in the form of a pill, which produces similar results to laughing gas. In the case of surgery, or a very nervous patient, intravenous (IV) sedation may be administered, which keeps the patient awake but in a dream-like state.

What techniques do you know to calm a dental patient suffering from anxiety?

 

Gum Disease and Prevention Strategies for Dental Assistants

2014-09-24 by Mark Harrington

Dental AssistantWe’ve all heard the word before, whether at home on the television, billboards on the side of the road or in dental assistant schools. That word is plaque—the sticky film which covers your teeth when bacteria forms in your mouth. The acids that form within that sticky film makes gums swell and bleed, causing gum diseases like gingivitis. You may have noticed before when brushing your teeth that your gums have bled. This is a prime indicator that you have gingivitis. If gingivitis is not treated, the gum tissue between the tooth and the gum can weaken, causing teeth to fall out.

Risks for Gum Disease

There are certain lifestyle choices and conditions which can make a person more susceptible to gum disease. Smoking irritates the gums and can lead to bacteria causing plaque. The elderly are especially at risk because the large amounts of medication they take can often cause dry mouth, and a lack of cleansing saliva can allow plaque to form. The elderly may also have more difficult time brushing and flossing their teeth on a daily basis. Diabetes patients are another at-risk group, because diabetics often have more sucrose in their saliva than others, and this extra sucrose can cause a build-up of plaque.

Treatment Strategies for Dental Assistants

There is a proper technique in dental assistant training for treating gingivitis at the dentist’s. This technique is called scaling and root planning. Because of the extensive nature of these procedures, usually only half of the mouth is done in one sitting. Scaling involves scraping tartar from above and below the gum line, using a small handheld metal tool called a scaler. Root planning is essentially polishing the teeth, to smooth the surface and get rid of rough spots which tend to garner bacteria.

After scaling and root planning, a dentist may use lasers to vapourize and remove damaged tissue. This laser will also kill lingering bacteria in your mouth. In cases of extreme gingivitis, surgery may be needed to pull back the gums and get at hard-to-reach tartar. It is important during any dental procedure that the dental assistant knows as much about the disease and treatment as the dentist. Dental assistant programs will ensure this. A dental assistant may be responsible for giving you numbing medication during the procedure. Some dental assistants will be trained to perform minor scaling procedures themselves. Overall, a dental assistant will be there for the duration of the procedures to aid the dentist. At the end of your appointment, they will also provide you will all the necessary follow-up care for at home.

Dental Assistant program

General Prevention Strategies at Home

There are several ways you can prevent gingivitis at home. To be noted, these are not just precautions for avoiding gingivitis, but routines you should be doing all the time in order to maintain good oral health:

  • Brush twice a day
  • Don’t smoke
  • Use mouthwash after brushing
  • Floss
  • Get routine check-ups at your dentists (once or twice a year)

 

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