Podcast: Dental assistants and the scope of practice

While at the recent California Dental Association (CDA) meeting in Anaheim, CA, I spoke with two CDA representatives to discuss the dental assistant's scope of practice and why it's important for both the dentist and the dental assistant to know what that is in every state.

With a dental assistant's duties varying in every state (learn what a dental assistant is legally allowed to do in your state through this helpful link from the Dental Assisting National Board), knowing exactly how an assistant can impact his or her patients (and the bottom line of the practice) is critical while also ensuring the practice is complying with the law.

For this interview, I was joined by CDA's Teresa Pichay and Ashley Reich, RDA. Pichay is a senior regulatory compliance analyst while Reich is a former dental assistant as well as a workforce development program specialist. Both are active in ensuring that California dentists and dental assistants comply with the scope of practice in that state.

With dental assistants in such high demand -- and all dental practices trying to keep their dental assistants as a part of their team -- I believe revisiting your state's scope of practice and understanding where your assistants can impact the practice the most should be on your must-do list for the second half of the year.

Whether you're a solo practitioner, specialist, or work in a group practice, understanding the power that lies in your dental assistants is arguably more important today than ever. Additionally, as regulations for dental practices are in constant flux, revisiting your assistant's scope of practice regularly is a vital part of your compliance checklist.

This interview with Pichay and Reich is available through the "Dental Assistant Nation" podcast series and can be heard by clicking on the image below. 

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