Why Dental Assistants Need to Know About Oral Pathology

Oral pathology is an essential part of dental care, as it helps us to diagnose and treat diseases of the maxillofacial and oral regions quickly. It uses sciences such as molecular biology and immunology to prevent and cure oral diseases and defects. For dental office managers, understanding oral pathology is important for improving communication with other dental health professionals. It also helps them to better understand the work that is done in the dental office, making them more effective in their role.

When a dentist examines a patient's mouth for sores, bumps, or other signs of illness, they are using the field of oral pathology. Dental assistants can also play a key role in helping the dentist detect oral or pharyngeal cancer caused by HPV or other carcinogens, such as tobacco and alcohol. All types of dental diseases and problems fall within the scope of oral pathology, from tooth decay to oral cancer. The Canadian Dental Association states that oral pathology is “the branch and specialty of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, nature and, mainly, the non-surgical treatment of oral, maxillofacial and temporomandibular diseases and disorders, including the dental treatment of patients with medical complications.” The American Association of Dental Assistants (ADAA) encourages all dental assistants to continue their education and to become aware of all forms of oral diseases, including oral and oropharyngeal cancers.

Training to become a dental office administrator also involves learning about the dental profession itself, including dental basics and terminology. Screening techniques that use screening devices and tests may not identify HPV-positive oral and oropharyngeal cancers, making them more difficult to detect than smoking-related cancers. Allied School of Dental Assisting is dedicated to excellence in knowledge and training in the dental care industry. It remains committed to promoting quality dental health care to the public and improving the public image and prestige of the dental care profession.

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