Becoming certified as a dental assistant is an achievement to be proud of. It demonstrates your professional commitment and knowledge, and provides you with the opportunity to support your patients and team. To obtain certification, applicants must pass three individual exams through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).If you're interested in pursuing a career as a dental assistant, the first step is to get certified through an accredited university. This will give you a strong educational foundation and prepare you for the job market.
Community colleges, vocational schools, and training schools are all great places to obtain dental care credentials. It's important to check the specific requirements in your home state, as they may vary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be over 64,600 new dental assistant jobs available in the coming years. The DANB accepts dental assistance programs from high schools for their National Entry-Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) certification, provided that the program includes at least one semester of dental assistance courses or curricula. The three exams that make up this certification are the General Chairside (GC) exam, the Infection Control (ICE) exam, and the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam. Several states recognize these exams separately as part of their dental assistant requirements. If you're considering a career as a dental assistant, read on to learn about the incredible benefits it offers.
The University of Alabama's Birmingham School of Dentistry offers a Dental Assistance Program (DAP) that provides students with the academic background and clinical experiences they need to master dental health care. Before graduating from high school, there are many ways students can prepare for a career as certified dental assistants by the DANB. After successfully obtaining a Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) certificate, a dental assistant can use it to demonstrate their competence in orthodontic care. There are many valuable resources available to prospective dental care students, from non-profit organizations to representative organizations and job boards. This one-year program includes demonstrations, rotations, and lectures at school and in private dental offices. Students will participate in extensive clinical experiences, from orthodontics to pediatric dentistry and more. This article covers the three pathways to eligibility for dental assistant certification described by DANB: National Entry-Level Dental Assistant (NELDA), Certified Dental Assistant Certification for Preventive Functions (CPFDA), and Certified Dental Assistant with Restorative Functions Certification (CRFDA).
A dental assistant can perform all general and infection-control procedures without first obtaining a certificate from the CDA.