Professions

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Administrative Dental Assistant

Assistant assigned duties that pertain to the business side of dentistry.

Administrative Simplification

Method designed to make the business of healthcare easier by development of standards for transaction code sets, privacy of patient information, security of patient information, and national provider identifiers.

Appointment Clerk

Administrative personnel, within the business office of a dental practice, whose primary functions are to schedule and confirm appointments, maintain the recall system, and track patients who are in need of treatmetn.

Board of Dental Examiners

Agency that has been assigned the task and authority to issue dental licenses.

Bookkeeper

Person who keeps records of the amount of money deposited into checking and savings accounts and uses a check paying system (manual check writing or electronic debt accounts) to pay vendors.

Business Manager

Person who manages the fiscal operation, develops marketing campaings, negotiates contracts with managed care providers, and oversees the compliance of insurance, managed care, and government programs.

Certified Dental Assistant

Certification offered to administrative dental assistants who meet specified requirements and pass an examination administered by the National Dental Assisting Board.

Chairside Dental Assistants

Personnel who perform various duties, including scheduling appointment efficiently, communicating with the use of dental terminology, processing dental insurance claims, correctly coding procedures for posting, making entries in patients' clinical records, and doubling as assistant when additional help is needed in the clinical area.

Circulating (Roving) Assistants

Assistants who perform a variety of duties, including assisting a dentist or chariside assistant as needed, taking dental x-rays, and being responsible for sterilzation and infection control.

Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature

National standard for codes used to report dental treatment.

Current Dental Terminology

Terms and codes standardized by the American Dental Association for the purpose of consistency in reporting dental services and procedures to dental benefit plans.

Data Processor

Person responsible for entering data into the computer system.

Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.

National testing agency.

Dental Auxillary

Person other than the dentist who provides a service in dental practice.

Dental Healthcare Team

All persons in the dental office. Someone who excels and becomes a vital member will have mastered multiple skills, be flexible, and work well in a team environment.

Dental Hygienist

Professionally educated and licensed member of the dental healthcare team who provides educational, clinical, and therapeutic dental services to patients.

Dental Practice Act

Legislation that outlines the duties that can be performed by dental auxilliaries, the type of education required, and what licensure, if any, is necessary to perform the duties.

Dental Public Health

Dentists who help organize and run dental programs that promote the dental health of the general public.

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

Degree earned by a dental surgery student after completing courses at an American Dental Association-accredited dental school.

Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD)

Degree earned by a medical dentistry student after completing courses at an American Dental Association-accredited dental school.

Electronic Protected Health Information

Health information that is shared electronically; covered providers are required to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of this information.

Endodontics

Procedure that removes diseased pulpal tissue.

Ethics

Category of moral judgements.

Expanded (Extended) Function Assistant

Assistants who have additional training and education and can provide more independent patient care. Functions are identified in each state's Dental Practice Act.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

The Portability section of the Act simply guarantees that persons covered by health insurance by one employer can obtain health insurance through the second employer if they change jobs. The Accountability section of the act answers the question of who and what should be accountable for specific healthcare activities.

Insurance Clerk

Administrative dental assistant responsible for insurance billining.

Legal Standards

Legislation regulated by boards and commissions.

Licensure

Identifies members of a profession who meet minimal standards and are qualified to perform set duties outlined in regulations and standards (Dental Practice Act).

National Provider Identifier Standard

Distinctive standard identification number issued by the U.S. government that will replace the Social Security Number, Individual Tax ID, or other identifiers on standard electronic healthcare transactions such as dental insurance claim forms.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Federal government agency that was enacted to protect the worker from workplace injury. OSHA regulates all areas of employment. In addition to OSHA, most states have their own versions of this agency, which, in some cases, are stricter than the federal agency.

Office Manager

Person who organizes and oversees the daily operations of the office staff.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

Area of dentistry in which diseases of the mouth or oral structures are diagnosed and treated.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Specialty that produces and interprets images and data generated by all modalities of radiant energy (x-rays and other types of imaging) that are used for the diagnosis and management of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Surgical procedures of the head and neck, ranging from simple tasks such as extraction of teeth to complex surgical procedures under taken to reconstruct facial structures.

Othodontics and Dentofacial Othopedics

Area of dentistry in which conditions of malocclusion (the way teeth meed) are diagnosed and treated. An orthodontist is a member of a complex team of medical and dental doctors who restore facial features and oral functions of patients.

Pediatric Dentistry

Area of dentistry in which dentists (pedodontists) treat patients from newborn to about the age of 15 years in all phases of dentistry. They may work in a hospital setting to provide treatment to patients under general anesthesia, work with patients with special needs, and provide treatment for children in need of preventative and restorative dental treatment.

Periodontics

Are of dentistry in which dentists (periodontists) treat patients who have diseases of the soft tissue surrounding the teeth (periodontal disease). Periodontal disease occurs in several different stages that vary in severity. Treatment performed by a periodontist focuses on correcting and preventing progression of disease.

Privacy Officer

Person who is appointed to oversee the written policy and procedure manual for handling PHI (protected health information).

Prosthodontics

Area of dentistry for which dentists (prothodontists) receive advanced training in performing procedures that replace lost and damaged teeth and tooth structures with partial dentures (fixed and removable), full dentures, or crowns over implants.

Protected Health Information

Health information that is required to be protected in all formats and in all locations; this includes the transfer of information in oral, written, and electronic formats and when stored (paper and electronic copies).

Receptionist

Administrative dental assistant responsible for answering the telephone, greeting patients, and scheduling appointments.

Records Manager

Person who organizes and maintains all aspects of patients' clinical charts according to preset standards and establishes and maintains an efficient filing system to ensure the precise location of all clinical records.

Registration

Form of licensure that has been established by some states as a method of protecting the public. Requirements for registration are outlined in each state's Dental Practice Act.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information

The intent of the rule is to protect health information; it applies to three types of covered entities: health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and healthcare providers who use an electronic mode to transfer information.

Standards for Security of Indiviually Identifiable Health Information

Covered providers must run a risk analysis to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of electronic health information.

Transactions and Code Sets

HIPAA (Health Insurance and Portability Accountability Act) states that any practice that electronically sends or receives specific transactions must send or receive them in a standard format. This means that all transactions and codes must use the same format.

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