CA dental assistants get new duties; virtual reality aids pain control

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

What exactly constitutes a "midlevel provider?" Dental health aid therapists? Advanced dental hygiene practitioners? Expanded-function dental auxiliaries? Community health dental coordinators?

All of the above?

Now California is adding yet another category to the midlevel provider mix: registered dental assistants in extended function 2 (RDA-EF2). And starting January 1, 2010, they may just have the widest scope of duties -- including restorations -- of any dental assistants in the U.S. Read more.

Interested in seeing how your state compares when it comes to hygienists' and assistants' scope of restorative duties? Check out our new interactive map by clicking here.

Meanwhile, in the Practice Management Community, a study in the December Journal of the American Dental Association found that virtual reality may improve pain control during periodontal scaling and root planing. In fact, it was most patients' preferred method of distraction. Read more.

Finally, your last chance to vote in the second round of the first-ever DrBicuspid Dental Excellence Awards is fast approaching -- the deadline is midnight, December 18. Hundreds of votes have already been cast -- don't miss your chance to honor dentistry's best and brightest! Click here to start the voting process today.

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