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Are dental assistants in your state expanding their scope of practice?

Image by University of the Fraser Valley via flickr.

There are more than 300,000 dental assistants at work across America and their ranks are expected to increase 25 percent in the next decade, as a result of the recognition of the link between oral health and overall health. Their work often includes helping dentists with procedures, taking and developing X-rays, preparing and sterilizing  instruments, making appointments, keeping records, and giving patients post-operative instructions.

But from state to state, duties, credentialing, and training standards vary widely.

Oral health topic leader Mary Otto provides some background, the latest news on what's happening in various states and links to help reporters learn what changes may be in the works in their state – just in time for Dental Assistants Recognition Week, March 2-8.

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