Is Dental X-Ray Exposure Safe?


A routine part of a dental check up is getting x-rays. Some may wonder if the dental x-ray is really a safe option and if they should have them done. Let’s take a look at what the experts say about having x-rays taken when you are at the dentists office.

Why is a dental x-ray taken?

dental x-rayX-ray images of the teeth are a great way for the dentist to see any problems with the teeth. These images help them to see inside of the mouth with greater detail. X-rays show the oral tissue, bones and teeth in a way the dentist cannot see with the naked eye. They are a great tool to see the roots of the teeth, check for cavities, and see the growth of teeth that have not yet emerged.


Does an x-ray give off radiation?

Yes, it does however the amount is so small it’s almost insignificant. In fact, just walking around the earth we are all exposed to radiation from the sun every day. Other equipment like CT scans and regular x-rays give off much more radiation. The dental x-ray gives off one of the smallest amounts of radiation than any other device. The amount of radiation exposure from one set of x-rays can be compared to that of flying on an airplane for a short 1 – 2 hour flight. The American Dental Association recommends a patient work with their dentist in order to form a personalized x-ray plan. Some patients will not need x-rays often if they have healthy teeth. Working closely with your dentist will ensure that you are getting the best care while weighing the benefits and risks.

What can I do to protect myself from radiation?dental x-ray

The dental assistant that takes the x-rays has been trained and certified. They know what to do to protect the patient and themselves. There are also regulations set in place for equipment to ensure safety. Patients will wear a protective vest during an oral x-ray to protect their body from radiation exposure. Don’t hesitate to express your concerns to your doctor or the dental assistant. Their priority is your safety, and they can talk you through all of the safety measures that are in place.

The benefits of having a dental x-ray done most often outweigh the risks. They can be a great preventative tool to help keep your mouth healthy.

Is There a Dental Assisting School Near Me?

“When I saw the American Institute of Dental Assisting I knew it would be the right school for me. I was looking around for a dental assisting school near me and was having a hard time until I found this school. I am so happy that I found a school that was close to me and offered a quick program. My training was great and I love my new job” -Sarah T., former student of the American Institute of Dental Assisting

Finding a school to attend can be a difficult task. Many students will do research and spend hours searching. They will tour several different schools in search of one that will be just the right fit for them. Every program has something a little bit different to offer and students must decide what is important to them and find a school that matches that.

Dental Assisting School Near Medental assisting school near me

The American Institute of Dental Assisting is conveniently located in the east valley. It is an easy commute to those living in the Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Apache Junction, and Queen Creek area. It is also just a short drive away from freeway access. This allows students from the west valley to travel to the school with convenience.

What Our Program Offers

dental assisting school near meThe American Institute of Dental Assisting offers a short 13-week program. We have found that this is the perfect amount of time to teach students what they need to know in order to be successful on the job. We teach with a hands-on approach. All of our students learn with real dentists and real patients. This practice in a real dental environment will help them develop the necessary skills to be a great dental assistant.

If you’ve been looking around and asking yourself “is there a dental assisting school near me?”, the answer is yes, there is! We are right around the corner and ready to help you achieve your dreams of starting a great career. Give us a call today and schedule a tour!

Basic Dental Assisting Skills

basic dental assisting skills

During their training, dental assistants will learn a wide range of information and skills. One of the first and most basic dental assisting skills that is taught is the tooth numbering system. Did you know that each tooth in the mouth is given a specific number? The tooth numbering system is used because it is an effective way to track which tooth a dentist is working on.

What is the Universal Numbering System?

The most commonly used system of tracking teeth is called the universal numbering system. It has been adopted by the American Dental Association and is used by almost every dentist in the United States. It is also commonly known as the “American System” since it is mainly used in America.

Why is it used?

There are a lot of teeth in the mouth and it would be difficult to merely describe which tooth needed work. Dentists also use this system in charting patient information. As basic dental assisting skills are taught, the student will learn how to track a patients information in the patient chart. Using tooth numbers is an effective way to record which teeth had work done or are in need of work in the future.

How does it work?basic dental assisting skills

The Universal Numbering System uses the numbers 1 through 32. The wisdom teeth are counted in this numbering system, so some people may not actually have all 32 teeth in their mouth at one time. Numbering starts on the top right side of the mouth with tooth number 1. It continues along the top arch and ends with tooth number 16 as the last tooth on the top left. Counting then continues on the bottom arch with the tooth farthest back on the left side as tooth number 17. It continues along the bottom arch and ends on the far back right with tooth number 32.

Are there other ways to number teeth?

Yes. There are a several systems of tooth numbering available around the world. The Universal Numbering System is used in the United States but there are other more common methods used in different countries. Some specialists like orthodontists and oral surgeons may use a different system that meets their needs better.

Why is tooth numbering one of the basic dental assisting skills?

Dental assistants use tooth numbering all day long when they are on the job. They need to know the numbering well. They are also taught other basic dental assisting skills such as tooth anatomy and structures.

Who Can Become A Dental Assistant?

become a dental assistantMany may view dental assisting as a job for younger females. While this may have been true years ago, it’s not the case now. Dental assisting can be a great job choice for some one looking for a new career option. Who can become a dental assistant? Anyone!

Training and Flexibility

become a dental assistantIn order to become a dental assistant, a training program must be completed. As long as a person can complete the training and perform the required tasks there are no limits on who can work. A job as a dental assistant can have flexibility so it’s a great choice for those who need specific hours. Each dental office will be open different hours so students are usually able to find an office whose schedule matches their own.

Varied Career Paths

become a dental assistantDental assisting can be a great career for new high school graduates. Some students will choose this path because they can get through school quickly and start working while they continue their schooling. Others will love it so much that they decide to stay in the dental field. Some will use dental assisting training as a stepping stone to getting into dental or hygienist school.

No Prerequisites

become a dental assistantDental assisting is a great career choice for those who are older and looking to change careers or start work after having children. There are no prerequisites to get into dental assisting school so it can be a great career to get started on right away.

Anyone Can Become A Dental Assistant

Both males and females alike can become a dental assistant. Things like age, gender, or race never play a factor in a dental assisting career. Whether 18 years old or 60, there is always a place for someone who is willing and able to learn the skills.

become a dental assistant

No matter where you may be in your life, if you’re interested in learning more, give us a call. Anyone can become a dental assistant!

Start a New Career

It happens to most of us. In fact, you’re probably one of the lucky few if you are perfectly happy and satisfied with your life. We get stuck in a rut. Our lives seem to run on auto-pilot with no end in sight. And one day you wake up and decided you just can’t do it anymore. Something has to give; something has to change. But where do you start? There are many routes you can take. Some choose to start a new career.

Start a new career

Just hearing those words can make even the best of us cringe. It seems like an impossible feat. It means going out of your comfort zone and trying something new. Often times it means trying something entirely new all together. It can require you to go back to school or start a new or more extensive training program. There’s no way around it, starting a new career is hard work. But it is possible and it doesn’t have to be scary.

start a new career

Journalist Frank Scully said it best, “Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?” When climbing an actual tree, one does not immediately go out to the smallest and farthest limb. At first glance it may seem like not a very smart thing to do, maybe even dangerous or impossible. It’s sure to be a more difficult climb but once you reach the limb with all of the fruit the reward is exceptional.

So it is with our careers. There’s probably a career out there that you’ve never even considered for a variety of factors. But putting forth the right amount of effort and time can yield great reward. Sometimes you have to put your faith in the possibility of something amazing and just go for it. The fruit at the end is pretty exceptional and worth every bit of hardship to get there.

start a new career
Start a great new career as a dental assistant

Are you looking to start a new career? Check out why dental assisting may be the right fit for you. We want to help you on your journey to the best career. Contact us today to set up a tour and learn all about why dental assisting is a great career path for so many people.

Dental Assistants Safety

dental assistants safetyThere are a variety of safety measures taken to ensure the safety of the dental staff. Sterilization, masks, gloves, and procedures all play a part in keeping everyone safe. Medical exam gloves play a big part in a dental assistants safety. They are used to protect the person wearing them. But they are also important to the patient as well as the dental staff. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly the glove can do and why they are so important to use.



It sounds surprising, knowing what we do about cleanliness. But surgeries used to be performed without wearing gloves, masks, or any other protective equipment. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for surgeons to move from one surgery to the next without even washing their hands. The origin of the exam glove dates back to 1889, shortly after John Hopkins Hospital opened it’s doors. Dr. William Stewart Halsted was the hospitals chief of surgery. He was known for cleanliness and precision and is known as the founder of the surgical glove.

Dr. Halsteds nurse had a reaction to one of the chemicals used during surgery. This sparked him to work with a rubber company to create the first rubber glove. The nurse loved them so much that many more pairs were ordered. Eventually the entire surgical staff was wearing the rubber gloves. However, they liked them for the increased dexterity the gloves gave and didn’t even give much thought to hygiene.


Surgical gloves have come a long way since they were first developed. In 1894, they were made sterile by Dr. Joseph Lister who was the first doctor to have his tools sterilized. In 1965, more extensive research began and the first disposable gloves were developed. In 1992 the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard was developed by OHSA to protect worked in the medical industry. And today, nitrile gloves are making a big difference for those with latex allergies. Recently, gloves are being used for all kinds of jobs, like sanitation and food services.

Dental Assistants Safety

Today, surgical exam gloves are used during all procedures for dental assistants safety. They are used to protect themselves and the patient as well. These gloves have been developed so that they are comfortable to wear and better for hands than in the past.

Dental Assistant Tasks

In a dental office, there are several different staff members. Each person has a different job to do. And each person has been trained in that job. Dental assistant tasks are very important to a dental office. They have many jobs, but their main job is to take care of the patient. They also do a lot to help the dentist treat a patient.

Dental Assistant Tasks

Dental assistants work closely with the dentist. Below are just a few of the dental assistant tasks they may do while on the job:

  • dental assistant tasks
    Dental assistants take x-rays

    Make sure the patient is comfortable in the dental chair

  • Assist in dental procedures
  • Take impressions of the mouth
  • Make a temporary crown
  • Take and process dental x-rays
  • Prepare materials for restorations and dental impressions
  • Eliminate sutures and apply topical anesthetics
  • Basic procedures like applying cavity-preventive substances to the gums and teeth
  • Polish and clean removable appliances like retainers
  • Teach the patient about how to care for their teeth
  • General office tasks such as setting and confirming appointments
  • Maintain patient dental records

Dental assistants have a big role in the office. About dental assistants, Dr. Hastings says:

dental assistant tasks“When they do their job well, they are essential to a dental office. Every dentist needs a good assistant that knows their stuff. They should  work hard in school so that they can be confident in their ability to perform a task. As a dentist myself, I know how useful an assistant can be. That’s why we train students the way we do in our school. I know that the best dental assistants are the ones that have had true hands on training. When their school environment is set up for success, then they will surely succeed”


If you are interested in becoming a dental assistant, give us a call to schedule a tour. Come see what makes us different. We care about your education and want you to succeed.


Which Toothbrush Should I Buy?

We all want healthy teeth, hands down. But you could be compromising your oral health with out even knowing it. When you go down the oral health aisle at the store the shelves are packed with products. Everything from toothbrush to portable flossers. It can be hard to know what to buy. Which products are good? And are some of them bad all together? Let’s take a look.

What are some ways that you can improve your dental health? There are several different things you can do to improve your oral health. One way is to use a soft bristle toothbrush. This sounds simple but most people don’t pay any attention to the type they are using. And it actually does matter. A lot.

Hard Bristle vs. Soft Bristle Toothbrush

ToothbrushHard bristle toothbrushes are exactly like they sound; hard. The bristles are much more stiff. If you use a hard bristle toothbrush it can irritate the gums. The hard bristles brushing against the gums can cause inflammation. It can also cause the gum tissue to recede, or move back, away from the teeth. Hard bristles are very abrasive to the sensitive gums. A brush with soft bristles will allow the bristles to move gently in the mouth. This motion will allow them to get under the gums and clean deeper.


toothbrushWhen brushing, you should focus on the hard to reach areas of the mouth. Particularly the back of the mouth and those hard to reach last few teeth. These areas are more prone to cavities as they can sometimes be missed when brushing. Using a soft bristle toothbrush, brush the teeth in a circular motion. And be sure to get every surface of the teeth. Tiny food particles and bacteria can stick to any part of a tooth. It’s important to brush morning and night. It can also be effective to brush your teeth after meals to clear it of debris. Taking great care of your teeth will help them to last a lifetime.

Dental Assistants’ Donuts


Happy Donut Day! Today is National Doughnut Day. As Americans we seem to celebrate some silly holidays. Ever heard of National Upsy Daisy Day? But donut day actually has a pretty neat background. So go ahead and grab your favorite donut today. Dental assistants’ donuts are keeping them happy today too!dental assistants'

History of Donut Day

National Doughnut Day dates all the way back to World War I. It was set aside to celebrate the women of the Salvation Army. During WWI, these women would make fresh doughnuts for the men on the front line in Europe. These women wanted to do something to boost the spirits of the soldiers. They would cook home made food for men that were fighting.

The first original “Salvation Army Doughnut” was served by the women in 1917. Since cooking supplies was limited, these donuts were cooked with oil inside of the soldiers’ metal helmet. Thus, American infantrymen were sometimes called “dough boys”.

National Doughnut Day first started in 1938 by the Salvation Army in order to honor these women that made and served donuts in WWI. It began as a fundraiser for the needy during the great depression. It is now a fun holiday where we get to enjoy a delicious treat.

Dental Assistants’ Tips

After you enjoy that yummy donut, consider these dental assistants’ tips to keep your teeth clean.

  • Brushdental assistants'

    Carrying a portable toothbrush with you at all times can be a great way to help prevent cavities. Taking a quick minute to brush your teeth after eating a sugary treat can help reduce the amount of plaque buildup in the mouth.

  • Chew Sugar-free Gum

    Gum can be an effective way to help cleanse the mouth. It must be sugar-free, though. Gum will increase the amount of saliva in the mouth which will help remove sugar stuck to the teeth.

  • Mouth rinse

    Using a mouth wash is a great way to rid the mouth of bacteria. If you don’t have a mouth wash with you, rinsing with water can help too.

Dental Assistant Job Safety

dental assistant jobThe dental office is a very busy place. There are always people moving, coming and going.  And with several staff members each doing their own jobs, it can become chaotic. A dental assistant job comes with many tasks. But each of the other staff members has their own jobs as well.

There are so many tasks that are completed by a dental staff in a single day at a dental office. The rooms have to be cleaned, instruments sterilized and prepped for the next patient. Supplies has to be ordered, shelves stocked, and the back lab areas cleaned and maintained. The front office is busy with paperwork, filing, calling patients, scheduling appointments, billing and insurance matters. And the whole office in general must be cleaned, equipment maintained and serviced, and comply with all safety and other regulations. In addition to all of this, patients must be seen and treated every day.

Safety First

dental assistant jobWith all of this movement, safety is a must for everyone. There are rules set in place for a dental office. They are made to help keep patients and the staff members safe. One very small piece of equipment plays a big part in keeping everyone safe.


Protective Eye Wear

dental assistant jobYou’ve probably seen the dentist wearing them. And the dental assistant job requires that they wear them as well. But have you ever considered why the patient needs to wear them? Protective eye wear, or goggles, are made to shield the eyes from debris. They are especially important in a dental setting. They protect a persons eyes from flying saliva, blood, particles, microorganisms, and even instruments or materials that may be dropped over the patients face. Diseases, viruses and bacteria can be transmitted without them. Goggles should be large and cover a wide area. Goggles with side protection provide better coverage. They will be cleaned and disinfected between each use for maximum protection. Goggles are important for everyone to wear during cleanings or procedures.

Dental Assistant Job Safety

dental assistant jobA dental assistant job will require that protective eye wear be worn when working with patients. This will help keep them safe. They should also make sure that their patients are always wearing their protective eye wear as well. And keep them cleaned and maintained between patients as part of their job.