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Enhance your orthodontic assisting career with DANB COA certification

Oct. 17, 2018
October is National Orthodontic Health Month, founded by the American Association of Orthodontists and observed for one month each year.
This article originally appeared in Dental Assisting Digest e-newsletter. Subscribe to this informative monthly ENL designed specifically for the dental assistant here.
October is National Orthodontic Health Month, founded by the American Association of Orthodontists and observed for one month each year.

Especially this month, as well as all year long, orthodontic health is a priority for all dental professionals, particularly those dental assistants who work in practices that serve orthodontic patients. Orthodontic assistants play an important role in helping to transform patients’ smiles to be more esthetically pleasing and healthy. Many assistants working in orthodontics say this role is extremely rewarding.

“As an orthodontic assistant, the best part about my job is watching my patients change through each phase of treatment,” said Tracie T., CDA. “I have played a major role in developing smiles for years, and I love to see the results.”

“I work in an orthodontics office and I get to know the kids very well,” said Sherry W., COA. “After more than 25 years, I enjoy seeing those same kids all grown up and bringing in their own families. Knowing I have impacted all of those lives is total fulfillment.”

Boost knowledge, confidence with DANB COA certification

Since it’s National Orthodontic Health Month, now is an especially a great time to consider pursuing Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) certification through the Dental Assisting National Board Inc. (DANB).

DANB’s COA certification consists of two component exams, Orthodontic Assisting (OA) and Infection Control (ICE). DANB’s COA certification is recognized or required in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Oregon. DANB’s ICE exam meets state requirements for infection control in Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, and North Dakota. In total, DANB exams and certifications are recognized or required by 38 states, the District of Columbia, the US Air Force, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Orthodontic assistants who pursue DANB COA certification not only remain on the cutting edge of orthodontic assisting knowledge, but they also increase their confidence and experience the many additional benefits of DANB certification.

Kristen L., CDA, COA, is among the more than 1,300 DANB COA certificants. She believes that earning DANB certification has enhanced her career. “My advice is to study and gain as much knowledge as possible,” she said. “My work in the general dentistry, surgical, and now orthodontics fields has given me a broad spectrum of knowledge in dentistry. You can never learn too much in this field!”

Lori M., COA, says holding DANB COA certification boosts her self-confidence. “Earning DANB COA certification has given me added confidence in my job, and I know I’m providing the best possible care for our patients,” she said.

Increased confidence is just one of the many benefits of holding DANB certification. Additionally, DANB certificants report a higher salary, enhanced personal pride, a professional advantage, and workplace recognition. Learn more about all the benefits of DANB certification here.

Prepare to earn DANB COA certification

If you’re ready get to get started, DANB’s COA exam blueprints and exam reference materials can help you create a study plan.

You may also be interested in other study materials, such as the ones provided by the DALE Foundation, the official DANB affiliate. The DALE Foundation offers several materials to help you prepare, including the:

DANB OA Practice Test
DANB ICE Practice Test

Take the next step

If you’re interested in earning DANB’s COA certification, you can apply online at any time! Learn more about DANB’s COA certification here.

For more information about DANB exams or certification, visit

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