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What Does it Take to be a Dental Assistant?


What Does it Take to be a Dental Assistant?

What is a dental assistant ➤

When visiting the dentist, most of the time patients are first seen by a professional called a dental assistant. But what exactly is a dental assistant? And what does this person do? The dental assistant is someone who assists a dentist or other related dental professionals, such as dental hygienists or dental therapists. A dental assistant is what is known as a dentist’s “extra pair of hands” and this person is usually the keystone of the dental office. The duties of a dental assistant include, but are certainly not limited to, making sure treatment rooms are adequately stocked and prepared for each patient’s visit before their arrival, stocking both dental and office supplies, keeping tools and instruments required for dental work sterilized, preparing and executing impressions of a patient’s teeth and gums, helping with taking a patient’s dental x-rays, and administrative or billing tasks. A Certified Dental Assistant, or CDA, is someone recognized as qualified by the Dental Assisting National Board as having the training and experience to meet certain requirements for the job.

Dental assistant training ➤


The question you may be asking yourself, “What exactly does it take to be a dental assistant?” First of all, a dental assistant must be a good listener. Patients will often confide fears or concerns, or may even give other pertinent information to the dental assistant that they might not be able to tell the dentist. Another thing it takes to be a dental assistant is stellar communication skills, as the dental assistant is often the primary link between the patient and the dentist, and required to pass information back and forth between the two. Also, the dental assistant will often need to provide instructions for dental care or advice about matters related to oral hygiene to the patient. Because the dental assistant often works as much in front of the office with the administrative tasks as in the back with the dentist, it takes excellent time management skills to perform this job.

Training to be a dental assistant does not require any formal education beyond a high school diploma in most cases. Dental assistants who wish to better their skills will find it helpful to enter some kind of a program, either at a physical campus or online. A lot of dental assistant training takes place in the dentist’s office, even for those with certification. Dental assistants who meet training requirements set forth by the Dental Assisting National Board are recognized as Certified Dental Assistants or CDAs. In this case, training requirements also include graduation from an appropriate dental assistant training program, a current certification qualifying them to administer CPR and general first aid, and possibly on the job experience in this field of work.
Sometimes dental assistant training requires completing extra classes or programs to perform tasks specific to the job. For instance, some states require passing a course in radiology before working with dental x-rays.

It is possible to work as a dental assistant without any certification at all. This is also known as the on the job training or OJT. By getting your dental assistant certification you demonstrate among other skills that you are very serious about your chosen career as a dental assistant in the dentistry field. The two main certifications that you can get as a dental assistant are the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) which is offered through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) or Registered Dental Assistant (RDA), this one is offered in many states.

Do you want to know what does it take to be a dental assistant? ➤


There are three components to the CDA exam: The general chairside (GC), radiation health and safety (RHS), and last the infection control (ICE). In order to be eligible for the CDA exam, there are three different pathways to get there. Many states give you the license of a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA). Both of these credentials are widely accepted.

What is the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB)? ➤

The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is based in Chicago, Illinois. They administer the following national examinations: The Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, the Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA), and the Certified Dental Practice Management Administrator (CDPMA). They oversee all the national students who hold those certifications and administer the exams to new applicants who wish to take it. The DANB’s official study guide is also known as the DANB’s review. If you are a candidate who wishes to take the CDA exam you must submit a written application to the DANB accompany by their fee. You can download an application through their website www.danb.org.

AS for the Above Three Pathways Mention ➤

You will find that there are three ways to eligibility in order for you to take the CDA exam. For you to receive the CDA certification, as a candidate you have to pass not one but all three components to the exam during a five year period, even though many dental assistants chooses to take all three all at once.


The first pathway ➣
you can take in order to take the exam is to graduate from an accredited dental assisting (ADA) school online or offline and a DANB approved cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification or CPR.

The second pathway ➣
To take the CDA is by having a high school diploma or GED will suffice and at least 2 years of practical experience as a dental assistant, or 3,500 hours of combined part and full-time work-related experience over a period of 24 months, and 48 months max as a dental assistant and DANB approved cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR certification.

The third and final pathway ➣
In which you can get the CDA to graduate from a DDS or DMD program, or foreign degree program and DANB approved cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.

What Does it Take to be a Dental Assistant? What Does it Take to be a Dental Assistant? Reviewed by swapee dee on February 23, 2020 Rating: 5
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