ADA Debuts Dental Assistant Training Resource

The American Dental Association has published “The Essentials of Dental Assisting.” The text was created as a condensed version of the original manual, “Modern Dental Assisting.” This abbreviated version may help with your practice’s internal continuing education efforts. Dentists can use this new book to share knowledge with all practice team members.

If you’re like many dentists, you spend a significant portion of your time training and educating not only your patients, but the dental assistants who help you. While they certainly already have specific dental knowledge, there is still a significant amount of on-the-job training that takes place in dental practices around the country.

Until now, much of the training dental assistants receive in the classroom has included the use of the manual “Modern Dental Assisting,” often seen as the profession’s gold standard in education. In addition to the original manual, the American Dental Association (ADA) has recently published “The Essentials of Dental Assisting,” written as an abbreviated version of the original text and designed to meet the needs of dental assistants who are trained in-office.

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The authors of the new book, Doni Bird and Debbie Robinson, stress that it can serve dentists as a valuable resource and training tool. Dentists can use the new book to share knowledge of procedures and techniques with colleagues and employees.

“There are areas covered in ‘The Essentials of Dentist Assisting’ to prepare the dental assistant in chairside assisting, general and specialty practices, infection control procedures, preparation of dental materials, dental radiology and also to prepare for additional credentialing in expanded functions,” said Robinson in a statement to the ADA. “For the administrative side of the office, the dental terminology throughout the manual is helpful as a resource for understanding scheduling, billing and insurance,” she added.

The new text features color photographs and detailed, step-by-step instructions that focus on core knowledge and clinician skills that every practicing dental assistant needs. New editions of the text are published every three years, so that the information contained within is kept up-to-date and current according to ADA guidelines. Throughout the years “The Essentials of Dental Assisting” has been published, updates have included digital imaging, changes in infection control guidelines, and information about new procedures and dental materials.

For ADA members, the new manual is available for purchase for $89.95 ($134.95 retail). Dentists can purchase the new book at or by calling 800-947-4746.

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