Dental Assistant Credentials for Dental Assisting Exam
Most dental assistants seek certification to demonstrate their professionalism. The national certifying board is the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), which oversees examinations for regular dental assistants, as well as specialized assistants. The CDA Exam has three components: general chairside (GC), radiation health and safety (RHS), and infection control (ICE). There are three pathways to eligibility for the CDA Exam. Many states offer a license of Registered Dental Assistant (RDA). Both certifications are widely recognized and accepted.
Dental Assisting National Board (DANB)
The DANB administers the following national certification examinations:
- Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
- Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA)
- Certified Dental Practice Management Administrator (CDPMA)
The DANB is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. This agency oversees the national certificants who hold the above certifications, as well as administers the exam to new applicants. Every state in the union recognizes the CDA credential.
The DANB Review is the DANB’s official study guide. Candidates for the CDA Exam need to submit a written application to the DANB along with an application fee. Applications are available to download on the DANB Web site: www.danb.org
The CDA Exam has three components:
- General Chairside (GC)
- Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)
- Infection Control (ICE)
To receive CDA certification, a candidate must pass all three parts of the exam within a five-year period, although many candidates choose to do all three parts in a single sitting.
There are three pathways to eligibility for the CDA Exam.
- Pathway I Graduation from an ADA-accredited dental assisting school and DANB-approved cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
- Pathway II High-school graduation or GED and Two years (minimum 3,500 hours over 24 months) practical experience as a dental assistant, or at least 3,500 hours combination full- and part-time work experience over a 24-month period, and a maximum 48 months as a dental assistant and DANB-approved cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
- Pathway III CDA certification or graduation from a DDS or DMD program, or a foreign-degree program and DANB-approved cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification
Additionally, the DANB offers two other certifications (mentioned previously). These are the Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) and the Certified Dental Practice Management Assistant (CDPMA) credentials. Both are excellent certifications to have if these are the areas in which you are specializing. However, this book is recommended for applicants interested in the Certified Dental Assistant Examination.
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