Dental assistants can become certified by passing the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination, administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Certificates awarded by the Board include certified dental assistant, certified oral and maxillofacial surgery assistant, certified dental practice management assistant, and certified orthodontic assistant.
Dental assistants are eligible to take this examination if
-they have completed a dental assisting program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation,
-or are high school graduates with 2 years full-time dental assisting work experience,
-or are a graduate from a dental hygiene or dental program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
All those applying to take the CDA exam must hold current CPR certification.
Certification indicates that you have achieved a high level of competency in dental assisting. Graduates who pass a competency examination administered by the Dental Assisting National Board and satisfy other requirements become certified dental assistants and may use the letters CDA after their names.
The CDA exam is comprised of three component exams: Radiation Health and Safety (RHS), Infection Control (ICE), and General Chairside Assisting (GC)
Passing all three components of this examination qualifies a dental assistant to use the designation Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) for a period of 1 year.
To maintain the CDA designation, individuals must renew their certification annually by completing a continuing education requirement.
Although many states currently recognize or require dental assistants to take the CDA exam or one of the CDA component exams, state regulations vary and some states require that you pass the certification examination for that stat before you can perform specific functions as a dental; assistant.
Certification would considerably improve your chances of finding initial employment