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Dental Assistant ?

Linda

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Can someone tell me exactly what procedures a dental assistant, whether they are certified or not, can perform?
I have recently had work started for a 4 part bridge with a new dentist and had problems with the temporary. I believe the DA can take off the temporary and put the temporary on, as well as make the mold for the teeth , but can they use instruments inside the mouth? They have used the silver pick inside my mouth to get off cement and the instrument to adjust the bite and everything I have been reading doesn't state they can use anything inside the mouth besides using a mirror to chart the teeth for the dentist.
This has been a terrible dental experience for me and I have been treated terrible by this office. I haven't gotten the permanent bridge as of yet and I want to make sure this Dentist is not allowing her staff to do things they shouldn't. The work was started 8/20 and the inside of my jaw is still bruised (purple) from the work that was done.
They have over charged my out of pocket by $349 & giving me a hard time with crediting the money back to my credit card. It's been so bad, I am thinking of filing a dispute with my credit card company. They have even been told by my dental insurance provider exactly what my out of pocket is.
Come to find out, she's only been practicing for 3 years and just finished up classes to be able to inject Botox!
I could go on and on with the things that have happened at this office but it would be a terribly long post.
I am just so frustrated at this point, I don't even want to go back to have the permanent put in when it's done. I don't think another dentist would put it in, but if one would I wouldn't even go back there.
 

Mimi39

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This would be determined by your state, Florida, rules and regulations for licensing, check with them.
 

Mosca

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My wife is a DA. She prepares instruments, keeps the rooms clean and stocked, hands stuff to the doctor, and runs the suction.
 

luvsvacation22

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Check out the Florida Board of Dental Examiners. You should find a list of duties for the DA, Registered Dental Assistant, and Registered DA with extended duties. In California the RDA can do the following duties:

(5) Remove excess cement from supragingival surfaces of teeth with a hand instrument or floss;

(6) Size stainless steel crowns, temporary crowns and bands;

(7) Fabrication of temporary crowns intra-orally;

8) Temporary cementation and removal of temporary crowns and removal of orthodontic bands;

(14) Take bite registrations for diagnostic models for case study only;

I only copied and pasted the duties that would apply to your situation. It would be important to find out if she was a RDA or not. A DA [CANNOT] preform these tasks. They should have a copy of her license at the dental office and you can see if it is current or not. Once you have the license number, you can called The Board of Dental Examiners and verify information, ask them questions, complaints, etc.

If she is a RDA she CAN remove the cement as long as it is not subgingival ( below the gum tissue). An RDAEF (extended duties) CAN remove excess cement from subgingival tooth surfaces with a hand instrument.

Most important...any duties performed by any assistant(RDA or RDAEF) must be checked and approved by the Dentist before the patient leaves. Of course the Doctor must be present in the office for these duties to be done.

Most doctors would not risk having someone that was not registered performing procedures that they shouldn't be. I am sure everything is on the up and up. The doctor is responsible for verifying the RDA license, and is ultimately responsible. If she is an RDA and performing duties that she should not be, she could lose her license too. If a doctor lets an assistant with no training (license) perform these tasks...I would run not walk out of the office and contact the Board of Dental Examiners ASAP.

Good luck!
Dorene
 

Icarus

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I had a dentist that had his DA do that stuff also, and I didn't like it because, among other things, she was a bit rough, so I mentioned it to him that I really would rather he do that stuff and he was fine with doing it all himself. In fact, he thanked me for mentioning it to him.

If you aren't happy with the DA doing it, talk to the dentist.

-David
 

Mosca

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In Pennsylvania, that is called a Dental Hygenist.
 

Kay H

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If I were treated in a way I did not like in any professional office, I would change Drs. I recently did this with a radiologist. I let him know that I was changing both orally and in writing. I also sent a copy of the letter to the medical licensing board. There is no doubt in his mind why I changed radiology offices.
 

Rose Pink

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In Pennsylvania, that is called a Dental Hygenist.
Dental techs are not the same as hygienists. Hygienists have more training and get paid alot more.
 

Ann-Marie

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Botox...I just had someone tell me that her Gyn MD does Botox and Eyebrow threading!!!!!!! What is medicine coming to?
 

Linda

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The Dentist was working on another patient while the DA was cleaning off the cement with the instrument AND packed cord down into my gum tissue. I was in there that night to have the permanent put on but the Dr. did not like the work the lab did. So she had the DA make another temporary for my mouth, and the DA put the temporary in and went to the other room to see if the Dr. wanted to look at it before I left and the Dr. said no.
I am not going back to this dentist for the permanent. I have contacted my dental insurance company about this and I have called my CC Co. to dispute the charge. I think this Dr. is not following many state guidelines and I plan on filing a grievance with the state board and the BBB.
 

Linda

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UPDATE & need advice

Just an update to my dental situation and need some advice.
I found out from the State Department of Health that the Dr. was in violation 4 times for having not checked the DA's work. The Dr. also did not do the final impression for my permanent bridge, the DA's did. This is a violation as well.
At this point, I have started seeing another dentist, who pulled off the temporary the DA had made, which was very bulky and was causing me a great deal of pain. I have also had to have my teeth prepped again, and sat for 2 1/2 more hours, as the first Dr. did not do it properly. The first dentist kept me in her chair for 4 hours, she was constantly leaving to see other patients and then coming back to me. The new dentist has made his own final impression and I will be having him do the permanent bridge.
So far the insurance company has attempted to contact this Dr. and she is ignoring them. She has been paid $2100.00 and I never received the permanent. At this point she will have to pay them back the money or when she files claims for other patient's with the same insurance that I have, they will withhold payment from her.
Since she will not work with me, I am filing a complaint with the Department of Health, due to her violations of Florida State guidelines. There is also a board here in the county we live in that a complaint can be filed with. I also feel since she is a member of the BBB, that I should file a complaint there as well.
I really did not want to do any of this, but her office is being rude and difficult and I do not know how else to handle it. Due to poor work from her, I will not allow her to finish this work.
Anyone have any suggestions? This may even have to go to possibly small claims court due to my out of pocket payment to her.
I have been in constant pain since this work was started on 8/20/08 and Tylenol has become my friend. The first Dr. wanted me to take Hydrocodone for the pain! I don't like to take meds unless I truly have to, I know I am taking too much Tylenol but my jaw and gums are so sore from all this work.
I would appreciate any advice someone could give me.
Thanks so much.
 

Rose Pink

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Mouth pain can be very debilitating. It saps your energy. I hope you get relief soon from your new dentist.

Your previous dentist's office staff is, of course, unhappy with your complaints and that can account for why they are cold to you. Expect that it may get worse. It is not your fault and you can do little to appease them--and shouldn't have to appease them. They did shoddy work in an illegal manner. Just make sure you behave in a professional and calm manner for your own peace of mind. In their eyes, they did work and should get paid for it. In your eyes (and mine) they did not do what they should have done and should not get paid for it.

Also keep in mind that temporaries can be bulky and dental work is far more painful for some patients than the same work is for others. DH had some laser work done on his gums and was in misery. I had the same work done (same dentist) and it was not as bad for me. Your pain and suffering may not be entirely due to the first dentist and her staff. It may be your unique reaction. That doesn't dismiss the illegal activity, however.

I would suggest you limit yourself to getting proper work done by your new dentist so you can feel better. Resolve the financial matters with the previous dentist with as little fanfare as possible. I would suggest you not try to teach them a lesson or be punitive in any way. That will only make them more resistant to you. The sooner you can resolve this, the sooner you can get on with your life and I am sure you have more pleasant things to do than small claims court, the BBB, etc.

Work closely with your insurance company. Let them be the heavy in getting reimbursement from her. They can't help you with your out-of-pocket. I don't know how much you gave her but it may be better for you to just let it go rather than spend more money and energy fighting to get it back. I guess it all depends on how much it was and whether you can afford to absorb the loss.

Try to look at it from their perspective (even though you don't agree with it). It will help you know how to proceed.

Best of luck.
 
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