As a dental assistant, your job title, and any education requirements and necessary exams—especially what functions you’re allowed to perform—vary from state to state. Because of how different state requirements are for dental assistants, moving from one state to another can be particularly tricky. Based on each state’s dental practice act and administrative rules, what one state dental board requires might be very different from the requirements of another state dental board.
This is where earning DANB certification or passing a DANB exam that leads to a certificate of knowledge-based competency, such as DANB’s Radiation Health and Safety (RHS®) or Infection Control Exam (ICE®), can help. DANB certifications and exams are recognized or required by 39 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Air Force, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Holding DANB certification can make it easier to meet dental assisting requirements if you relocate.
“My husband is in the Air Force, so moving around and changing jobs has been hard,” says Regina K., CDA, COA. “But because I hold DANB certification, I am always able to obtain a job. In fact, the hospital where I work requiresus to be certified. Holding DANB certification has allowed me to secure the job of my dreams when other applicants did not meet the requirements.”
To learn more about state dental assisting requirements, visit DANB’s search-by-state map. This easy-to-use online tool is regularly updated and features helpful details on each state’s requirements for dental assistants, including job titles, recognition of DANB exams, and allowed and prohibited dental assisting functions.
In addition to helping meet state requirements, holding DANB certification is a source of pride. “Receiving my CDA certification is more than just a little gold star stuck to my forehead—it’s a sense of pride and accomplishment, telling me I am more than I originally believed,” says Katrina D., CDA. “I’ve improved my self-worth, and that means the world to me.”