All offices have them, and most couldn't function in their absence. Dental Assistants are the core workhorses in any dental environment. But what does it mean to be a dental assistant, anyway?
Traditional dental assistant jobs include basically helping the doctor out. That could mean setting up rooms, sterilizing instruments and equipment, assisting with dental procedures, and providing patients with some empathy and TLC. So what does an EFDA do?
Expanded Function Dental Assistants require certified training and are granted a state license. The exact scope of duties vary by state, but essentially they can do more "dentistry" than unlicensed dental assistants. That can mean packing fillings, finishing fillings, cementing crowns and bridges, packing cord and sometimes even taking impressions. A perk to more abilities should be more compensation. Talk to your doctor about this before you seek credentialing.
What does the Dental Assistant job entail?
With these new responsibilities comes new challenges. There is also some liability. Although the doctor will technically be responsible for oversight and "direct supervision", the EFDA does have a license. In the event of litigation, there may be accountability due of the EFDA. All licenses can be revoked if negligence or malpractice can be proven.
Some doctors may be reluctant to have an EFDA perform all duties that they are qualified for. The doctor is generally responsible for all outcomes, and may feel uncomfortable unleashing an EFDA's newly acquired skill set. We encourage all dental assistants to speak to your employer first, before entering a training program to become an EFDA.
But those who persist generally do better. It never hurts to have additional training, even though all dental offices may not provide additional pay for such credentialing.
Finding the right dental office for you skills may be the right solution for your personal growth once EFDA credentialing is achieved. Take advantage of dental niche staffing platforms like princessdentalstaffing.com and see what dental assistant opportunities are out there for EFDAs. You might be surprised at the market demand. Sometimes the perfect fit is just around the corner.