Dental Hygienists Versus Dental Assistants: Know The Difference - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Dental Hygienists Versus Dental Assistants: Know The Difference

Posted: Updated:

The dental clinic at Tulsa Community College is a very extensive program to train dental hygienists.  There's a big difference in hygienists and dental assistants like the ones mentioned by state investigators looking into Dr. Scott Harrington's practice.

You just can't walk in off the streets and become a dental hygienist. TCC's program takes two years to complete while dental assistants require far less training. Dr. Harrington used dental assistants in his practice are commonly used by oral surgeons. They prepare dental trays for used for surgery. Dental hygienists perform cleanings, x-rays and are involved in the patient's oral health.

"The dental assistants primary job is to be a second set of hands for the dentist,'" says  Debbie Batson who is Director of  Tulsa Community College's Dental Hygiene Program where they use universal precautions.

"That is where you treat every patient as if they're infected that way there's no doubt," says Batson.

Dental instruments are cleaned using an instrument washer to remove debris and well as another cleaning device called an autoclave. According to the State Board of Dentistry, Dr. Harrington's dental assistants ...."were routinely providing the IV sedation for procedures."  We tried to reach Dr. Harrington on his cell phone but got a recording.

While he is not answering our questions. TCC Dental hygienist Mindi Stephenson says those providing patient care should be transparent.

"It shouldn't be a hushed situation it should be an open discussion with the person that you work for and your co- workers and everyone should be on the same page to make sure that your standard of the care is the highest it can be for your patients," says Stephenson.

There are 14 students in the dental hygiene program.  They graduate in May.

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mount Vernon community remembers hit-and-run victim’s life

    Mount Vernon community remembers hit-and-run victim’s life

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-08-27 21:12:49 GMT
    Heather Danielle Baker's infectious smile was on the minds of all who attended her memorial in Mount Vernon on Aug. 25. Family and friends filled the Mount Vernon-Enola High School gym, most wearing purple in celebration of Baker's life.More >>
    Heather Danielle Baker's infectious smile was on the minds of all who attended her memorial in Mount Vernon on Aug. 25. Family and friends filled the Mount Vernon-Enola High School gym, most wearing purple in celebration of Baker's life.More >>
  • Jermain Taylor pleads not guilty, given $25K bond

    Jermain Taylor pleads not guilty, given $25K bond

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-08-27 21:11:53 GMT
    Professional Boxer Jermain Taylor has pleaded not guilty on charges for first degree battery and aggravated assault. Wednesday morning, he was given a $25,000 bond by Pulaski County District Court Judge Wayne Gruber.More >>
    Professional Boxer Jermain Taylor has pleaded not guilty on charges for first degree battery and aggravated assault. Wednesday morning, he was given a $25,000 bond by Pulaski County District Court Judge Wayne Gruber.More >>
  • Woman cleared of wrongdoing, officer fired after withholding evidence

    Woman cleared of wrongdoing, officer fired after withholding evidence

    Woman cleared of wrongdoing, officer fired after withholding evidence

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-08-27 02:22:22 GMT
    Officer Mark WinchesterOfficer Mark Winchester
    FAULKNER COUNTY (KATV)--A Mayflower Police officer is fired, after a prosecutor said he withheld evidence regarding an investigation. Officer Mark Winchester was terminated this morning. More >>
    FAULKNER COUNTY (KATV)--A Mayflower Police officer is fired, after a prosecutor said he withheld evidence regarding an investigation. Officer Mark Winchester was terminated this morning. More >>