CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO. 558
Established:  08/05
FLSA:  Non-Exempt
EEO:  5

DENTAL ASSISTANT, EFDA

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under general supervision, to assist dentists and dental hygienists in the examination, maintenance and repair of gums and teeth; to provide program coordination of the County dental clinic; to perform necessary clerical and technical support functions and duties; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

The Public Health Division within the Department of Human Services promotes and protects the health of County residents.  The Division’s services include health care treatment and referral, immunizations, prenatal care, family planning, nutrition education and counseling, emergency medical services, animal control, medical examiner, vital records, inspection/licensing of restaurants and monitoring communicable diseases.

The Dental Assistant, EFDA assists dentists in the repair, maintenance and examination of teeth and gums of health clinic patients and assists in the overall instruction regarding proper oral hygiene techniques and practices.  The classification also provides coordination of volunteer dentists and dental hygienists and performs clerical duties such as maintaining dental records, scheduling appointments, maintaining adequate supplies and referring patients to other medical and dental assistance programs. 

The Dental Assistant, EFDA differs from the Dental Assistant by the clinical duties requiring certification as an Expanded Function Dental Assistant as provided for in OAR 818-042-0070. It also differs from clerical classifications by the specialized duties and responsibilities in the field of dentistry.  It also differs from the Health Assistant classification which assists health care providers outside the scope of dentistry.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Greets and instructs patient on visit process; prepares patient by interviewing for problems and assessing oral health education needs; may deliver oral health education as directed by the dentist and hygienist.
  2. Cleans, sterilizes and maintains all dental instruments following Center for Disease Control and OSHA guidelines, set-ups, and equipment; ensures that the dental office, clinic rooms and dark room are orderly and clean; orders, checks and stores supplies.
  3. Takes, develops, mounts and files oral x-rays; maintains dark room; changes developing and fixing solution as needed.
  4. Initiates and maintains dental records and files; records information on charts as directed by dentists and hygienists; purges files annually.
  5. Performs expanded function duties as allowed by the Oregon Board of Dentistry, that may include; polish coronal surfaces with brush or cup as directed by dentist or dental hygienist, remove temporary crowns, preliminarily fit crowns, place temporary restorative materials, place and remove matrix retainers for alloy and composite  restorations, polish amalgam restorations with a slow speed hand piece, remove excess supraingival cement,  fabricate temporary crowns and any other functions permitted under OAR 818-042-0070 as directed and approved by a licensed dentist. EFDA certified dental assistants with completed course work may place sealants under direct or indirect supervision provided the patient has been examined by a dentist as well as apply temporary soft relines to full dentures. 
  6. Provides chair-side assistance to dentists and dental hygienists in limited oral surgery, repair and cleaning procedures; locates and passes dental instruments used in procedures, and mixes silver amalgam and synthetic filling materials.
  7. Contacts and recruits dentists and hygienists to volunteer their services in the dental clinic or to accept clinic referrals in their offices; plans and notifies dentists of the clinic schedule; maintains list of dentists, programs and facilities who will accept emergency referrals; acts as liaison between dental clinic and other services of County health program.
  8. Screens phone calls, walk-in patients and referred patients for eligibility for services; schedules clients to appropriate dentists according to need and urgency; makes reminder phone calls; refers patients to medical and dental assistance programs or to area dentists.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Working knowledge of:  Apply the techniques of expanded duty dental assisting; standard office procedures, techniques and equipment; x-ray techniques;  materials, instruments and tools used in the field of dentistry and oral hygiene; dental record documentation processes; appropriate cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing techniques, dental terminology and routine practices, procedures, and techniques of preventative dentistry and oral hygiene; basic math; English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation, both orally and in writing.

Some knowledge of:  Oral anatomy; nutrition as it relates to oral hygiene; public health and community health principles, concepts and practices; HIPPA guidelines.

Skill to:  Operate and maintain dental equipment and supplies;  operate, maintain and test various laboratory equipment; operate x-ray equipment and process film; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing in a courteous and professional manner with patients of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds; instruct patients in the techniques, practices and methods of promoting and maintaining good oral hygiene; implement standard office procedures and use modern office equipment effectively; maintain and sterilize dental instruments and equipment; establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, other health care professionals and patients; maintain strict patient confidentiality as outlined in HIPAA guidelines.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Possession of an appropriate and valid certificate of Expanded Function Dental Assistant as provided in OAR 818-042-0080, including a certification of radiologic proficiency, issued by the Oregon State Board of Dental Examiners.

Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Driving may be necessary for County business.  For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license.  Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation.  For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.

MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS:

Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.