Mapping the literature of dental assisting.
The purpose of this study was to identify core journals and the databases that provide access to these journals for the field of dental assisting. This study was completed as a part of the Medical Library Association (MLA) Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section's project to map the literature of allied health. There were three original journals selected for analysis using the prescribed methodology, Dental Assistant, the journal of the American Dental Assistants Association; Journal of the CDAA, the journal of the Canadian Dental Assistants' Association; and Dental Teamwork, published by the American Dental Association. Dental Teamwork ceased publication in December 1996; however, it was considered a necessary part of the analysis due to its extensive coverage of dental assisting as well as its numerous scientific articles with references. In Dental Assistant, there were 16 source articles, containing 206 citations. In Dental Teamwork, there were 31 source articles with 308 citations. In Journal of the CDAA, there were only 3 source articles with 14 citations. Bradford's Law of Scattering was applied to the journal citations. Four databases, MEDLINE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and HEALTH were analyzed for their coverage of these cited journals. This study may encourage the dental assisting profession to take a close look at its existing journals and to consider enhancing the content of these journals or the publication of additional journals in the field. Dental assistants of today need substantive literature that deals with all aspects of their chosen profession in order to meet the challenges of providing dental health care in the future. (+info)
Hepatitis B and C among Berlin dental personnel: incidence, risk factors, and effectiveness of barrier prevention measures.
A study of 215 Berlin dentists and 108 dental assistants recruited at the 1997 Berlin Dental Society meeting assessed their occupational risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. HBV vaccine coverage, and barrier prevention methods used. Among dentists, 7% (95% CI 4-11) and 0.5% (95% CI 0-3) had serological evidence of previous HBV and HCV infection, respectively. Similar figures for dental assistants were 1% (95% CI 0-5) and 0% (95% CI 0-4). Only 74% of dentists and 63% of dental assistants reported HBV vaccination. Approximately half always used gloves, eye glasses, or face masks. HBV unvaccinated dentists whose patients had HBV risk factors had a greater risk of HBV infection; those who always wore face masks were at lower risk (OR 0.2, 95% CI 0.02-0.98). These data indicate that among Berlin dentists, the HCV risk was lower than that of HBV and that face masks may have lowered the risk of HBV. The use of eye glasses or gloves did not appear to lower the risk of HBV acquisition in this population. (+info)
Trends in allied dental education: an analysis of the past and a look to the future.
Allied dental healthcare providers have been an integral part of the dental team since the turn of the 19th century. Like dental education, allied dental education's history includes a transition from apprenticeships and proprietary school settings to dental schools and community and technical colleges. There are currently 258 dental assisting programs, 255 dental hygiene programs, and 28 dental laboratory technology programs according to the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. First-year enrollment increased 9.5 percent in dental hygiene education from 1994/95 to 1998/99, while enrollment in dental assisting programs declined 7 percent and declined 31 percent in dental laboratory technology programs during the same period. Program capacity exceeds enrollment in all three areas of allied dental education. Challenges facing allied dental education include addressing the dental practicing community's perception of a shortage of dental assistants and dental hygienists and increasing pressure for career tracks that do not require education in ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation accredited programs. The allied dental workforce may also be called upon for innovative approaches to improve access to oral health care and reduce oral health care disparities. In addition, allied dental education programs may face challenges in recruiting faculty with the desired academic credentials. ADEA is currently pursuing initiatives in these and other areas to address the current and emerging needs of allied dental education. (+info)
Reduced fertility among women employed as dental assistants exposed to high levels of nitrous oxide.
BACKGROUND: Fertility is reduced in female rats exposed to levels of nitrous oxide similar to those found in some dental offices. Epidemiologic studies have suggested an association between exposure to mixed anesthetic gases and impaired fertility. We investigated the effects of occupational exposure to nitrous oxide on the fertility of female dental assistants. METHODS: Screening questionnaires were mailed to 7000 female dental assistants, ages 18 to 39, registered by the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Sixty-nine percent responded. Four hundred fifty-nine women were determined to be eligible, having become pregnant during the previous four years for reasons unrelated to the failure of birth control, and 91 percent of these women completed telephone interviews. Detailed information was collected on exposure to nitrous oxide and fertility (measured by the number of menstrual cycles without contraception that the women required to become pregnant). RESULTS: After controlling for covariates, we found that women exposed to high levels of nitrous oxide were significantly less fertile than women who were unexposed or exposed to lower levels of nitrous oxide. The effect was evident only in the 19 women with five or more hours of exposure per week. These women were only 41 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 23 to 74 percent; P less than 0.003) as likely as unexposed women to conceive during each menstrual cycle. CONCLUSIONS: Occupational exposure to high levels of nitrous oxide may adversely affect women's ability to become pregnant. (+info)
Chronic low-level mercury exposure, BDNF polymorphism, and associations with self-reported symptoms and mood.
Recent reports have described neurobehavioral impairments in human subjects carrying a V66M polymorphism in the gene encoding brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Inasmuch as ventral nervous system (CNS) deficits associated with this BDNF polymorphism are similar to those observed among subjects with chronic exposure to elemental mercury (Hg degrees ), we examined the potential effect of this BDNF polymorphism on symptoms and mood in an established cohort of dental practitioners with chronic low-level Hg degrees exposure. Self-reported symptoms and mood were obtained by computerized questionnaire from 193 male dentists (DTs) and 230 female dental assistants (DAs). Spot urine samples were analyzed for mercury concentrations to evaluate recent exposure. Detailed work histories were obtained to calculate chronic indices of Hg degrees exposure. Buccal cell samples were obtained to identify the V66M polymorphism of BDNF. Scores for 11 current and 12 recent and chronic symptom groups, along with six mood factors, were evaluated with respect to recent and chronic Hg degrees exposure and BDNF polymorphism. Multiple regression analysis controlled for age, race, socioeconomic status, tobacco and alcohol use, self-reported health problems, and medications. Separate evaluations were conducted for DTs and DAs. Twenty-three associations between recent or chronic Hg degrees exposure and BDNF status and self-reported symptoms were observed with p < 0.10. All but three were in the expected direction (symptom scores increasing with Hg degrees exposure or BDNF polymorphism), and all but six were among DAs. All eight correlations between chronic exposure indices and recent and chronic symptoms among DAs were in the expected direction. All seven associations between BDNF and symptoms were in the expected direction and split between DTs and DAs. All three associations with mood factors were among DAs and in the expected direction. These results indicate that among DAs very low levels of occupational Hg degrees exposure are associated with increased symptoms. The BDNF polymorphism is also associated with increased symptom and mood scores. Notably, Hg degrees and BDNF polymorphism were additive with respect to their associations with the same symptom group. (+info)
Foil backing used in intraoral radiographic dental film: a source of environmental lead.
The lead content of the foil backing of 4 types of intraoral film commonly used by dentists was 69% to 85%. An environmental issue exists because these foils are typically thrown out with regular refuse, even though recycling programs exist. For a new adult patient, a full-mouth radiographic series would generate 11.2 g of waste lead; for a 6-month checkup, waste lead would only be produced if radiographs were required. In an experiment that simulated the acidic conditions that might be expected in a landfill site, 3.5-4.4 mg of lead was released during 17-hour incubation in dilute acetic acid. When distilled double-deionized water replaced the acid, 1.0-2.2 mg of lead was released by the same types of foils. Human health concerns also exist when dental assistants handle lead foil while developing radiographs and fail to change their gloves or wash their hands before handling instruments and dental paraphernalia used in the mouth. Although the amount of lead introduced into the oral cavity would be relatively small, the elimination of sources of lead exposure, especially for children, is important. (+info)
Access to care and the allied oral health care workforce in Kansas: perceptions of Kansas dental hygienists and scaling dental assistants.
Access to oral health care continues to be a problem in the United States. Research has called for innovative approaches to improve access to oral health care and reduce oral health care disparities. Successful alternate approaches have been reported. In 1998 the Kansas Legislature passed a proposal to enhance access to care and manpower needs by allowing dental assistants to provide supragingival scaling, a service traditionally assigned to dental hygienists. In 2000, Mitchell et al. investigated the perceptions of Kansas dental hygienists and scaling dental assistants in relation to House Bill 2724 (HB 2724), which allows dental assistants to perform coronal scaling. The intent of the study was to collect baseline data in relation to HB 2724. The purpose of the present study was to follow up on the impact of HB 2724 six years after legislation. Both groups report satisfaction with their professions: scaling dental assistants believe the delivery of care in Kansas has changed, and areas of Kansas previously noted as dental health professional shortage areas are now served by either a registered dental hygienist or scaling dental assistant. (+info)
A comparison of career satisfaction amongst dental healthcare professionals across three health care systems: comparison of data from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Trinidad & Tobago.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to compare the expressed levels of career satisfaction of three groups of comparable dental healthcare professionals, working in Trinidad, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. METHODS: Three questionnaire surveys were carried out of comparable dental healthcare professionals. Dental nurses in Trinidad and dental therapists in the UK and New Zealand. Questionnaires were sent to all registered dental nurses or dental therapists. RESULTS: Career satisfaction was lowest amongst Dental Therapists working in Trinidad and Tobago. Approximately 59% of the Therapists working in New Zealand reported stated that they felt they were not a valued member of the dental team, the corresponding proportion in the United Kingdom was 32%, and for Trinidad 39%. CONCLUSION: Dental therapists working in different healthcare systems report different levels of satisfaction with their career. (+info)