J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2019 Dec;43(4):224-231. 10.11149/jkaoh.2019.43.4.224.

A survey of the understanding of the scope of work undertaken by dental hygienists and chair-side dental assistants among dental students in Seoul

  • 1Department of Dentistry, Seoul National University School of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive & Social Dentistry, Seoul National University School of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea. jjbh@snu.ac.kr


This study was conducted to investigate the awareness of the students currently attending dental colleges/schools in Seoul regarding the scope of work done by a dental hygienist (DH) and a chair-side dental assistant (DA).
A direct questionnaire survey was conducted among 950 students who currently attend dental colleges/schools in Seoul. We were able to use a total of 458 samples for final analysis after excluding inappropriate ones. The contents of this structuralized survey included the obligation of proper name badge use for dental health care personnel, the legal work scopes of a DH and a DA in accordance with the revised execution of the "˜Legal Acts on Medical Technicians', and the inclusion/exclusion of such contents from dental colleges/schools curricula. The results were statistically analyzed via the IBM SPSS Statistics 25.0 software.
Many subjects were aware of the difference in scope of work performed by a DH and a DA (P < 0.001), but not their legal obligation to wear appropriate name badges in accordance with the "˜Proposal for the Establishment of the Name Badge Standards for Healthcare Practitioners'. The subjects generally showed higher comprehension of the scope of work performed by a DH (74.3%) than that performed by a DA (57.7%). Without the presence of any corresponding curriculum, accurate responses tended to increase with the students' seniority. Most students (94.4%) agreed with the need to include a class that teaches the scope of work performed by a DH and a DA in their school curricula.
We have found that education regarding "˜Name Badge Standards for Healthcare Practitioners' and classification of a dental assistant's scope of work is lacking in the existing curriculum. Therefore, it is necessary to establish additional curriculum.


Chair-side dental assistant; Dental hygienist; Dental student; Scope of work
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