If you enjoy working with people on a daily basis, have an interest in dental work, and understand how to work well with others as a part of a team, then a dental assistant career may be right for you.The following is a review of what it is like to be a dental assistant, including…
What Is Involved in Dental Assistant Certification?
Are you curious about dental assitant certification? Continue reading to find out more about the training needed to become a dental assistant. Certified dental assistants are a vital part of a well-run dental practice. They provide chairside help with industrial equipment and surgical and procedural help with fillings, extractions, and crowns. In addition, patient care, laboratory testing, and administrative responsibilities such as scheduling and bill processing are part of the job description.
The dental assistant certification process
To work as a dental assistant, one needs to get a dental assisting certification from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). After completing high school, the student will need to graduate from a dental assisting program that typically runs for nine months to about two years in a community college or vocational school. The alternative is to complete at least 3,500 hours of DANB-approved work experience approved by a registered dentist.
The needed dental assistant certifications include:
A CPR certification from a DANB-approved provider
All dental practitioners must have training in CPR, basic first aid, or advanced cardiac life support. The DANB recognizes CPR, BLS, and ACLS certifications from many organizations, as long as the training is partially based on CPR and includes a hands-on evaluation.
The DANB certification
Prospective dental assistants can get certified by completing an examination that assesses their knowledge. The DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam is taken by most dental assistants who want to become nationally certified. Obtaining certification as a CDA guarantees that the dental assistant is qualified to help successfully in the delivery of dental treatment.
Dental assistants who have completed a dental assisting program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation are qualified to take the CDA test. After two years of full-time work experience as a dental assistant, individuals who have been taught on the job or have graduated from non-accredited institutions are also entitled to take the national certification test.
In addition, several states accept candidates who pass parts of the CDA test for licensing and regulatory purposes, such as the Radiation Health and Safety exam or the Infection Control exam. State laws differ, and some provide registration or licensure in addition to this national certification scheme.
Pass the DANB CDA exam
The CDA exam’s certification and license criteria vary by state, although the DANB has curricular authority in all 50 states. The three examinations that make up the DANB certification comprise 320 questions in the 39 states where certification is required.
The General Chairside Assisting (GC) test, the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) test, and the Infection Control (ICE) test are the three separate examinations necessary to earn a CDA certification via the DANB. The examination has a maximum score of 900 points, with a passing mark of 400.
The DANB also provides various dental assistant certifications, including the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA), the Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA), and the Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA).
Want to become a dental assistant?
After getting a dental assistant certification from the DANB, dental assistants must keep up to speed on industry standards and recertify their credentials every year by undergoing continuing dental education courses.
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