October 04, 2011
Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni, dean emeritus, recently spoke to students enrolled in University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's newly launched Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions (RDAEF) certification program. Dugoni spoke to the students, who are studying to become certified as RDAEFs, allowing them to complete complex tasks in a clinic or practice setting under the direction and supervision of their dentists.
The Dugoni School of Dentistry's RDAEF course began in June 2011 and will run through May 2012. It takes place on multiple weekends over a period of 11 months at the dental school. It is taught by Molly P. Newlon, DDS, MA, an '82 graduate of Pacific, and a handful of dedicated Dugoni School of Dentistry and UCSF School of Dentistry faculty members.
In a private practice or clinical setting, a dentist oversees treatment and completes all surgical procedures on the teeth, but can utilize RDAEFs, who are trained to properly complete many complex tasks. This can free up the dentist to see more patients and deliver more care. RDAEFs are especially useful in large clinics or rural settings which often have a lack of dentists available to treat underserved communities.
In his lecture to the RDAEF students, Dugoni highlighted the importance of RDAEFs to the dental profession. He emphasized the need for well-educated and highly trained allied dental professionals who, under the guidance and supervision of their dentists, can help provide actual patient care.
"A program like the Dugoni School of Dentistry's RDAEF program is vital for the dental profession because the dentist needs RDAEFs — well-trained and well-supervised assistants — to help care for patients, especially as he or she gets more involved with medicine, oral medicine, more physical diagnosis and enhanced care," said Dugoni.
Due to high levels of interest and demand, the Dugoni School of Dentistry plans to offer a second RDAEF course, which is slated to begin on August 18, 2012. For more information, call the Dugoni School of Dentistry's Division of Continuing Dental Education at 415.929.6485 or visit http://dental.pacific.edu/ce1.
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