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Maxillofacial Surgery Basics for the Dental Assistant: Part 1 (AGD 310)

Presenter: Natalie Kaweckyj, LDA, RF, CDA, CDPMA, COA, COMSA, CPFDA, CRFDA, MADAA, BA


The specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery,formerly known as oral surgery, is responsible for the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects of the oral and maxillofacial region. Specialists work with many other dentists, general practitioners and other specialists in the total treatment of a dental client. Many people commonly associate an oral surgeon with the practice of extracting teeth for dentures or with the removal of third molars. Such procedures are only a small part of what these specialists do. For instance, an oral maxillofacial surgeon may see a client who has been severely injured in an accident to reset the mandibular jaw and then work closely with the orthodontist and perhaps even a plastic surgeon to restore the patient to normal oral function. Implantology and facial cosmetic surgery are other aspects of oral surgery. The oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS) assistant is a vital team member in this specialty practice.  

Oral and maxillofacial procedures may be practiced in the general dentistry practice, but not to the same extent of a specialty practice. Some general practitioners have advanced training in conscious sedation and utilize their training in a general practice.  

This course will review some of the preparation procedures for oral surgery, whether performed in the general dentistry practice or specialty clinic.


Natalie Kaweckyj lives in Minneapolis where she is the dental assisting program director at Herzing College and a part time grant writer for Children's Dental Services, a non-profit community clinic serving the underserved. She is a Registered Dental Assistant in Restorative Functions, Certified Dental Assistant, Certified Dental Practice Management Administrator, Certified Orthodontic Assistant, Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Assistant, a Master of the American Dental Assistants Association, and holds several expanded function certificates including the administration of nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia and orthodontic band removal. She gradated from an ADA accredited dental assisting program at ConCorde Career Institute and completed her studies in microbiology and genetics at Metropolitan State University, University of California Berkeley, and the University of Minnesota, graduating with a BA in Biology from Metropolitan State University. She is completing her Masters Degree in Public Health with a focus on Oral Health Education from Independence University.

Natalie has previously served as Chair of the Fellowship/Mastership subcommittee of the ADAA Council on Education, Chair of the Council on Legislation, a member of the Council on Finance and various ADAA Ad Hoc Committees. In addition to serving three terms as president of the Minnesota Dental Assistants Association (MDAA), Natalie has served in many capacities at the local and state levels of her state association, and is a past ADAA Secretary and past Director to the ADAA Foundation. In addition to her association duties, Natalie is very involved with her state board of dentistry and state legislature in the expansion of the dental assisting profession, volunteers at a community dental clinic, and sits on the MN RDA Exam Committee in Expanded Functions. Natalie previously served six years on the DANB Infection Control Test Construction Committee and is affiliated with OSAP, ADEA and the National Association of Dental Assistants. She has authored several other home study continuing education courses for the ADAA.


After completing this course, the dental professional will be able to:

• Explain the role of a surgery dental assistant.
• Describe various medical conditions and how they can affect treatment.
• Explain how bacteria can cause infective endocarditis.
• Explain the ASA Classification.
• Explain two causes for hypoxia.
• Recognize normal hematologic values.
• Explain the nerve innervation of the maxilla and mandible.
• Understand the differences in local anesthetics.
• Describe the three techniques for pain and anxiety control.
• Demonstrate how to prepare chemical agents from a multi-dose vial.
• Demonstrate how to prepare the IV bag.
• Explain the differences in drug actions for the agents used in sedation.
• Recognize medical emergencies and know how to react.
• Describe how various medications and conditions affect hemostasis.
• Explain perioperative risk assessment of dental clients.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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