Occupational Environmental Hazards in the Dental Office

About the Course: 
There are many potential occupational health hazards associated with working in a dental office. Some health risks have long been known to the dental profession; others have only more recently been discovered as potential health risks. No member of the dental team is immune to these potential hazards. Every team member must take precautions and employ preventive measures to reduce personal health risks associated with occupational hazards. This basic-level course presents information on the health risks associated with mercury, radiation, caustic agents, nitrous oxide, oxygen and ethylene oxide, airborne particles and contaminants, latex allergies, white visible light and dental lasers, and bonding materials and acrylics. Also discussed are steps to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and minimize hazardous noise levels in dental practice. 

Learning Objectives: 
After completing this course, the learner will be able to: 
  • Identify common health risks and preventive measures associated with mercury, radiation, and hazardous chemicals used in dentistry. 
  • Identify common health risks and preventive measures associated with noxious gases and bioaerosols in dentistry. 
  • Identify common health risks and preventive measures associated with latex, visible white light, dental lasers, and bonding materials. 
  • Identify common health risks and preventive measures associated with hazardous noise levels. 
  • Identify common health risks and preventive measures associated with carpal tunnel syndrome and hand injuries. 
About the Author: 
Ellen Dietz-Bourguignon, BS, CDA-Emeritus, earned her bachelor of science degree in allied health education in dental auxiliary utilization and a community college teaching certificate from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She began her dental career as an associate-degreed certified dental assistant in private practice. Following a 7-year dental assisting teaching career at Orange County Community College, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Erie County Board of Cooperative Educational Services, and Niagara County Community College, she began writing on dental topics for Dental Assisting Magazine, eventually rising to the position of managing editor. Ms. Dietz-Bourguignon has worked in dental marketing, project management, and product development at Semantodontics and in legal administration for the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners. She has published five books in the dental assisting market, including Dental Office Management and Safety Standards and Infection Control for Dental Assistants, and has been keynote speaker at the American Dental Assistants Association Annual Session. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including The Dental Assistant, Dentist, The Dental Student, Dental Economics, RDH, and Dental Teamwork. 

AGD code - 130 

How to Receive Credit
  • Read the entire course online or in print.
  • Depending on your state requirements you will be asked to:
  • Complete a mandatory test (a passing score of 75 percent is required). Test questions link content to learning objectives as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory Course Evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.
Resolution of Conflict of Interest

The contributors to this course have no conflicts of interest relative to its content. Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement
It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.
©2020: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.