Dental Assistant Certificate

If you’d like to become a Dental Assistant, earning a certificate will give your resume, your confidence, and your knowledge base a boost. It’s also a great start if you hope to gain some practical experience and then continue your education to become a Dental Hygienist. Whatever your goals, here’s what you need to know about earning a Dental Assistant certificate.

Do I need a Dental Assistant certificate?

Licensing and certification requirements vary by state. While some states require nothing, others ask that you register with the state. You may also need to pass licensing exams and pursue continuing education to keep your license current. Check with your state’s board for specific information.


If you do decide to pursue Dental Assistant certification, begin by finding a program that fits into your time and budget constraints.

Dental assisting programs typically last less than a year. During that time, you’ll learn about sanitation procedures, radiation, dental treatments, and customer interaction. Make sure the program you choose for your Dental Assistant training is approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Next Step

The next step in the process is to apply for your certification exam. There are several types of exams, including Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA), and Certified Preventive Dental Assistant (CPDA). Review the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) for more information.

The CDA is the most common certification. The exam includes 320 questions and takes around four hours to complete. It covers topics ranging from general chairside knowledge to radiation to infection control.

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