"To advance the careers of dental assistants through education, credentialing, legislative advocacy, and professional activities that improve the delivery of quality dental health care."
A community where dental assistants are respected and viewed as integral members of the dental team.
Serving over 20,000 dental team members, we know what it means to be part of a team. ADAA knows what it means to advance your career. There are many reasons to join the ADAA but unlimited free online education is a big one! Continuing education is important to your professional development as much as it is to your patients. It is also important to your dental team. Take advantage of all the ADAA site has to offer: networking with your peers, chatting, and more! The ADAA gives you many ways to enhance your dental career and there's no better way than to join today!
Who is a DA
Who is the Dental Assistant?
The Dental Assisting profession is a vital component of the dental healthcare delivery team. The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook lists Dental Assisting as the fifth highest profession that is expected to grow at a faster-than-average pace through the year 2031 (www.bls.gov)
The Dental Assistant position is highly technical skilled work responsible for working under the supervision of dentists with a wide range of tasks in the dental office, ranging from patient care to administrative duties to laboratory functions. Work involves assisting a dentist engaged in performing general dentistry practices such as diagnostic, operative, preventive, and other dental procedures during the examination and treatment of patients.
(Updated November 2022, some information retrieved from www.ada.org)
The dental assistant performs many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills. Although state regulations vary, responsibilities may include:
- Assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures
- Taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays)
- Asking about the patient's medical history and taking blood pressure and pulse
- Serving as an infection control officer, developing infection control protocol, and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment
- Helping patients feel comfortable before, during, and after dental treatment
- Providing patients with instructions for oral care following surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the placement of a restoration (filling)
- Teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health; (e.g., toothbrushing, flossing, and nutritional counseling)
- Taking impressions of patient's teeth for study casts (models of teeth)
- Performing office management tasks that often require the use of a personal computer
- Communicating with patients and suppliers (e.g., scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, billing, and ordering supplies)
- Helping to provide direct patient care in all dental specialties, including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and oral surgery
Policies & Resolutions
Policies & Resolutions of the ADAA
In the process of revision, all policies prior to 1974 were rescinded by the 1980 House of Delegates, and the revised forms of these policies were adopted by the 1980 House of Delegates. The policy statements and resolutions are indexed by topic. This document will be updated annually or as necessary noting the year of review in the title, and the year of adoption by the House of Delegates at the end of each policy statement or resolution.
This manual was updated as of November 2021.
Education & Credentialing Policy
Our ability to be flexible and open-minded in adapting to the evolving health care environment is critical to our future as allied dental professionals and to best serve the public.
The ADAA is focused on two major themes; more standardized credentialing and education of dental assistants.
ADAA Principles of Professional Ethics
FOREWORD: The Principles of Professional Ethics lists legal and ethical guidelines expected by patients, employers, employees, and, in many areas, required by regulatory boards.
- Cause no harm;
- Uphold all federal, state, and local laws and regulations;
- Be truthful and honest in verbal, financial, and treatment endeavors;
- Recognize and report signs of abuse to proper authorities;
- Assist in informed decision-making of treatment options; while respecting the rights of patients to determine the final course of treatment to be rendered;
- Do not discriminate against others;
- Support, promote and participate in access to care efforts through education, professional activities and programs;
- Deliver optimum care utilizing professional knowledge, judgment, and skill within the law;
- Be compassionate, respectful, kind, and fair to employers, co-workers, and patients;
- Refrain from denigrating by word, print, or in electronic communication his/her employer, workplace, or colleagues at all times;
- Create and maintain a safe work environment;
- Assist in conflict management when necessary to maintain harmony within the workplace;
- Strive for self-improvement through continuing education;
- Strive for a healthy lifestyle that may prevent physical or mental impairment caused by any type of illness;
- Refrain from any substance abuse;
- Never misrepresent professional credentials or education.
Support the ADAA by Making a Donation
Dental assistants are integral members of the dental team. In addition to serving as the backbone of the dental office, these professionals ensure patients receive the utmost care and attention. Help the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) continue to foster an environment of growth, learning, and awareness with these two great giving opportunities.
Please consider making a donation to the ADAA. Your contribution supports dental assistants across the country.
- Membership outreach initiatives, publications, and communications
- Dental Assistant Recognition Week activities
- Research, legislative, and public awareness campaigns