Following completion of a dental assistant course, most students opt to take the dental assistant certification test given by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Earning this certification means that the student is qualified in their state to work as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) by meeting requirements established by state regulatory commissions.
Benefits of a Dental Assistant Certification
In addition to being an attractive supplement to a resume, dental assistant certifications promote employment opportunities, enhance the ability to earn higher wages and helps dental assistants gain valuable clinical experience that may ultimately help them earn an advanced dental degree.
To be eligible to take the dental assistant certification examination, students must:
- Complete an accredited dental assistant program (or provide proof of graduating a non-accredited dental assistant course along with two years experience working as a dental assistant)
- Obtain up-to-date CPR certification
The dental assistant certification test given by the DANB takes most students about four hours to complete and contains 320 questions. The grading scale ranges from 100 (lowest) to 900 (highest), with test takers needing a score of 400 or more to pass and receive certification.
Three sections comprise the test:
- A question and answer section (120 questions)
- Radiation safety/health (100 questions)
- Infection control (100 questions)
Passing this exam indicates the student has met or exceeded the highest expectations of professional competency and is ready to work as a dental assistant.