Let me introduce myself: My name is Heather Bryant and have been a proud member of ODAA for 40 years. I joined ODAA as a student member and became Certified in 1981.
My career as a Certified Dental Assistant began in Toronto and continued when I moved to Kingston. I started my career as the only employee in the office, as I was receptionist and chairside assistant—how times have changed! When I moved to Kingston, I spent 25 years with the same employer as a chairside assistant. When the practice was sold, I moved into the position of clinic manager, and this position afforded me many unique opportunities. In the last year I have accepted a challenging new position as a clinic manager overseeing multiple offices, but I still enjoy sitting chairside when I get the opportunity.
With the advancements in dentistry, I have also witnessed the growth of the dental assisting profession in Ontario. When I started the only credentials available were Certified Dental Assistant, CDA. In the 1990s ODAA and RCDSO created the Preventive Dental Assistant program, and many members took advantage of ODAA’s continuing education to upgrade and enhance their skill set. The Preventive Dental Assistant program then evolved into what we now know as Level II Dental Assistant, and in Ontario Level II is considered the industry standard. In my time as a member, I have seen ODAA develop additional credentials to include Certified Dental Receptionists and Certified Dental Treatment Coordinator, as these positions are vital in modern dental practices.
I am honored to be the newest President of ODAA. I have been a Director since September 2015 and became president May 2019. The Board of Directors is a professional group of certified members who work together for the advancement of Dental Assisting. While the long term goal is always regulation, we are always working towards elevating our profession.
Be PROUD you are a Certified Assistant, Receptionist or Treatment Coordinator member and know that your dentist and patients value your skills.