Began working in 1976 while still in dental hygiene school, as a dental assistant. Dental hygienist from 1977 through 2000, performing all dental hygiene duties including prophylaxis, root plane and curretage, fluoride treatments, desensitizing treatments, panoramic x-rays, bitewing, periapical and occlusal x-rays, taking and pouring up impressions, sterilization. Created custom impression trays for denture impressions as well as many other dental lab duties, including organizing and managing the lab. Performed 4-handed dental assisting, seated matrix bands, placed rubber dams and polished restorations. Assisted in periodontal surgery.
I was trained in-house to assist in the treatment of patients in the TMJ portion of our practice which was growing exponentially. This included taking TMJ x-rays, performing diagnostic testing (EMG, EGN and JVA,*) doing follow-up exams which included noting joint noises using a stethoscope , palpating head, neck, intraoral and facial muscles and recording pain levels, testing jaw/joint reflexes. Also provided patient education for their treatment and follow ups as well as delivering, fitting and adjusting their orthotics.
In 2000, our dental office discontinued providing general dentistry care and began solely seeing patients with TMJ dysfunction. Through studies with the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, I was certified in 2002 as a Certified TMJ Assistant and continued in my duties with our TMJ practice.
I was able to cover for any of my co-workers if they were unable to work, including receptionist duties and balancing the books and making the bank deposit at the end of the day.
*Electromyography, Electrognathography (Computerized jaw tracking,) Joint Vibration Analysis
Registered Dental Hygienist (license is currently on hold status)
Certified TMJ Assistant
Greeted and prepared patients for dental examinations.Properly sterilized dental equipment and examination rooms in accordance with infection control policies.Effectively operated x-ray machines and developed x-rays.Routinely completed inventory, supply orders and restocked supplies.Reviewed status of waiting room on a routine basis to ensure that patients were being seen in a timely fashion.Provided appropriate postoperative instructions as prescribed by dentist.Thoroughly gathered and recorded medical and dental histories and vital signs of patients.Made preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts.Correctly arranged instrument trays prior to dental procedures and surgeries.Duplicated x-rays when requested by insurance companies.Performed laboratory and radiologic support functions such as preparing materials and models.Proficiently assisted dentist with diagnostic, preventative, general, orthodontic, endodontic, surgical and periodontic procedures.Accurately collected and recorded patient medical and dental histories.Educated patients about proper oral hygiene and prevention of dental diseases.Expertly charted conditions of decay and disease to prepare for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.Applied fluorides or other cavity-prevention agents to inhibit tooth decay. Removed sutures and dressings.Scaled, polished and applied sealants and fluorides.Examined patients' head, neck and oral cavity for signs of disease.Expertly managed difficult or emotional patient situations and responded promptly to patient needs.Recommended products and devices for patients' home care.Consistently followed protocols regarding quality assurance, biohazards, infection control, charting and emergencies as well as maintaining MSDA files in my role as office OSHA manager.
Coursework in Dental Hygiene
I worked as a youth leader for 8 years, developing an easy rapport with the teenagers, many of whom still keep in contact with me today. My duties were to lead by example, lend a listening ear and give counsel when appropriate. I also taught many classes relating to dealing with various struggles teenagers face.
I worked as the Director of Operations for a local and national women's ministry for 4 years, from 2006 through 2010, mostly as a volunteer. (I received a small stipend for a short time.) This was a part time position and I worked from my home office. My duties included communicating with 150-400 women as needed, scheduling events, managing product tables, scheduling speaking engagements around the country, traveling with the ministry leader and assisting her, overseeing the leaders of 20+ small groups within the local ministry, creating and operating power point presentations on a weekly basis, and served on the Core Leadership Team.
By 2010, I discontinued working for the most part in order to be a full-time caregiver to my elderly and ailing mother for the next 2 1/2 years. I have since returned to work in the same practice, now working in the lab creating TMJ orthotics, which requires only a few hours per week.
I am now finding myself desiring more part time employment especially in the dental field. I would be willing to work in any capacity needed, from dental hygiene to assisting to office work. I love working with patients and have always truly enjoyed my career.
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