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DANB salutes orthodontic assistants

Oct. 22, 2013
DANB certification is a great thing for dental assistants to acquire

October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and to celebrate the occasion, Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) proudly salutes the more than 1,400 DANB Certified Orthodontic Assistants (COAs).

National Orthodontic Health Month was founded by the American Association of Orthodontists and is observed for one month each year. But to the dental professionals working in an orthodontic practice, orthodontic health is a concern all year long.

That’s why many employers often require DANB COA certification when hiring. Lori Mallory, COA, RDH, works for an orthodontic practice in South Charleston, W.V., that employs five DANB COAs. “We’ve seen a difference between hiring certified assistants versus non-certified assistants,” she says. “COAs have a better knowledge of treatment, use the correct terminology, and have better communication skills between patients, doctors, and fellow assistants.”

Besides knowledge, Mallory notes a higher overall quality of patient care among the COAs in her office. “When a new patient arrives at the practice, they’re given a tour, and the doctors introduce each of the dental assistants as COAs,” she says. “Patients feel reassured that we’ve taken an extra step in our education, and the COAs enjoy the recognition within the practice.”

For Mallory, she says, “Earning the DANB COA certification has given me added confidence in my job, and I know I’m providing the best possible care for our patients.”

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Other DANB certificants report similar benefits to holding certification — including personal pride, a professional advantage, and workplace recognition. Dental assistants and orthodontic assistants who earn and maintain DANB certification can enhance the dental team’s competency, efficiency, reputation, and credibility.

Currently, DANBs exams are recognized or required in 38 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Air Force, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Specifically, DANB’s COA certification is recognized or required to perform expanded functions in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Oregon. DANB’s Infection Control (ICE) exam, a component of COA certification, meets state requirements for infection control in Iowa, New York, and North Dakota.

To learn more about DANB certification, including the benefits and exam requirements, visit the “Become Certified” section of DANB’s website.