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Available Dental Assistant Certification Options
Dental assisting is a great career for those who would like to be in career where job openings are growing faster than average. The training period can be less than two years, so it doesn't take very long to get prepared for this career. Once you have completed an accredited Dental Assistant educational program, it would be wise to get certified. Those who are certified are the most sought after by dental offices. There are a few different options for certification.
The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is the organization that offers Certified Dental Assistant and Certified Orthodontic Assistant qualifications. An exam needs to be passed in order to gain this qualification, and those who become certified will need to keep their certification current through continuing education or re-examination.
The exam required for becoming a Certified Dental Assistant consists of three parts. There is a General Chairside section, an Infection Control section, and a Radiation Health and Safety Section to the exam. Each of these sections can be taken separately, and as long as you pass all three within a five year period you can become certified.
The General Chairside section has pre-requisites, you need to prove that you are eligible in order to take this exam. There are three different ways to become eligible, one of which is to complete a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited educational program. These are available in most states.
The exam required for becoming a Certified Orthodontic Assistant consists of two parts, the Infection Control section and the Orthodontic Assisting section. There are four different ways to become eligible for the Orthodontic Assisting section of the exam. You need to pass both sections of the exam within five years in order to qualify for the certification.
The easiest way for a Dental Assistant to schedule their certification exams is to choose the computerized format since there are no set dates and times for these exams, you call a number to schedule them once you have been approved to take the exam. There are a wide variety of locations available. The Radiation Health and Safety and the Certified Dental Assistant Exam will be offered in a written format in June of each year at set dates and times in a number of locations for those who prefer a written format.
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