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Symbols of professional development and membership

from Dr. Carolyn Breen, ADAA President

Dental assisting has evolved over the past century from the employment of the first "lady in attendance" to the competent, educated, and qualified dental healthcare professional of the present. Initial steps toward the status held by the dental auxiliary today were taken in 1885. Dr. Edmund Kells was credited for employing the first dental assistant acting as a lady in attendance. By 1900, Kells was working with both chairside and secretarial dental assistants. Since the introduction of these original concepts, specific educational criteria and recommended curricula have been formulated to provide a sound foundation for individuals to assist the responsibility of providing high level dental patient care. more


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