What I Need to Know 2017-09-15T17:35:50+00:00

WHAT I NEED TO KNOW

Dental assistants, are you confused about what you must do to advance your career? Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Association (EFDAA) can help you by providing you with a detailed explanation of what you must do to advance and become licensed. 

You rise in the dental assisting profession by attaining licensure as an RDA, OA and RDAEF2.  To become licensed in either or all of these categories, you must have:

  1. Specific work experience
  2. Completion of special mandatory courses
  3. Passing an examination administered by the California Dental Board (DB).
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Dental Assistants

When I secure a job as a dental assistant, I understand I generally must take dental x-rays?  How and what must I do to be able to take dental x-rays?

Once you are employed and want to take x-rays, you must complete a Dental Board (DB) approved certificate course in Radiation Safety and Techniques.  You must complete this course before you expose dental patients.  This certificate is not a license, but allows you to take dental x-rays.  Once taken, it never has to be retaken or renewed.

Are you a dental assistant who has been in a dentist’s continuous employment for 120 days or more?  If so, you must complete the following courses within a year of the date of employment:

 I have been working as a dental assistant in a general practice for 15 months and completed all of the courses listed above.  What is the next step? 

You can now become a licensed RDA or if you are an orthodontic assistant become a licensed OA Assistant.  Once you possess this license, you can perform numerous direction patient care services.

I have been working as a RDA in a general practice and want to perform more restorative procedures, such as placement of dental fillings.  What is the next step? 

You can now become a licensed RDAEF2.  This is the highest licensure category for dental assistants.  This license allows you to perform advanced restorative and prosthodontic direct patient care services. 

I have been working as a dental assistant in a dental office that performs orthodontic procedures for 12 months, what is the next step? 

You can now become a licensed Orthodontic Assistant.   The OA Permit license was implemented to allow you to perform numerous direct orthodontic patient care services.  Prior to 2009, most orthodontic assistants had to become an RDA to do advanced orthodontic procedures, but this licensure category has replaced the requirement in becoming an RDA.

Who and how do I become licensed as an RDA, Orthodontic Permitted Assistant and RDAEF2?

The Dental Board of California is the governing body for dentistry and they implement the requirements for licensure for all three categories of dental assisting licensure.  The following is an explanation for each  licensure category.

Registered Dental Assistants 

What are the requirements for applying to sit for the RDA license? 

Must have 15 months (1,280 hours) of work experience as a dental assistant with a dentist licensed in one of the states in the US (signed verification of this work experience is required) or completion of Dental Board approved RDA program.    Completion of an 8 hour infection control (completion within five (5) years of application). Completion of a 2 hour Dental Practice act (completion within five (5) years of application). Certification courses in coronal polishing, radiation safety and pit/fissure sealants. Completion of a CPR (offered by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or a course approved by the Board as equivalent) courses.   All applicants must submit fingerprint clearances from both the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Identification. This process can take 60 days or more. If an applicant has a criminal history, arrest report and court records must be obtained and investigated before a decision is made to issue or deny the license. 

I have all of the requirements listed above…..what is next?

Go to the Dental Board’s website at www.dbc.ca.gov and download an application for the RDA.Complete the application, answering all of the questions, providing proof of course completions, etc.

 Once I have received acknowledgement that I am able to sit for the RDA licensure, what will the examination/s consist of?

  • State computerized written general knowledge examination.
  • State computerized law and ethics written examination.

 Where and how do I find those required courses? 

The Expanded Duties Dental Assistant Association (EFDAA)  provides comprehensive Dental Board approved courses for the following prerequisites for the RDA:

RDAEF2

Important information related to the terms RDAEF and RDAEF2.  RDAEFs licensed on or before January 1, 2010 are referred to as an RDAEF.  Those assistants who are licensed after January 1, 2010 are referred to as RDAEF2.  This differentiation is related to the differences in scope of practice for each license.  When logging on the Dental Board web site, you will note that the title for the current EF is RDAEF.

What are the requirements for applying to sit for the current RDAEF2 license? 

Must possess a valid, active and current license as an RDA or RDAEF issued by the Board. Completion of a certification course in pit and fissure sealants.

Completion of a CPR (offered by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or a course approved by the Board as equivalent) courses. Completion of a Dental Board approved RDAEF2 program.

All applicants must submit fingerprint clearances from both the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Identification. This process can take 60 days or more. If an applicant has a criminal history, arrest report and court records must be obtained and investigated before a decision is made to issue or deny the license. I have all of the requirements listed above…..what is next? Go to the Dental Board’s website at www.dbc.ca.gov and download an application for the RDAEF.Complete the application by answering all of the questions, providing proof of course completions etc..Once I have received acknowledgement that I am able to sit for the RDAEF2 licensure, what will the examination/s consist of?

 

If you are an RDA applicant to the RDAEF2 examination, you must pass:

Clinical examination on one patient where the following two procedures on performed:

(1) Cord retraction of gingivae for impression procedures;

(2) Taking impressions for cast restorations.

Practical examination where you perform two of the following three procedures on a simulated patient head mounted in appropriate position and accommodating an articulated adult or pediatric typodont in an enclosed intraoral environment, or mounted on a dental chair in a dental operatory.

(1) Place, condense and finish a composite restoration.

(2) Place, condense and carve an amalgam restoration.

(3) Polish and contour an existing amalgam.

State computerized written general knowledge examination.

If you are a licensed RDAEF prior to January 1, 2010, you must do the following:

Existing licensed RDAEFs are not required to complete the following:

(1) Cord retraction of gingivae for impression procedures;

(2) Taking impressions for cast restorations.

(3) State computerized written general knowledge examination.

Existing RDAEFs are required to pass the following:

(1) Practical examination where you must pass two of the following three procedures on a simulated patient head mounted in appropriate position and accommodating an articulated adult or pediatric typodont in an enclosed intraoral environment, or mounted on a dental chair in a dental operatory.

(a) Place, condense and finish a composite restoration.

(b) Place, condense and carve an amalgam restoration.

(c) Polish and contour an existing amalgam.

(2) State computerized written RDAEF2 examination

 Where and how do I find A DB approved RDAEF2 Program? 

The Expanded Duties Dental Assistant Association (EFDAA) provides a comprehensive Dental Board approved program for the RDAEF2.

*These courses/program are offered on a regular basis by EFDAA.  For a detailed description, go to our Home Page of this website.

 

Now that I am licensed as an RDA, RDAEF2 or OA Permitted Assistant, am I required to complete continuing education courses?

All dental assisting licensees, every two years, must complete the following continuing education units:

  • Registered dental assistants (RDA): 25 units
  • Orthodontic Assistant Permit Holders (OA): 25 units
  • Registered dental assistants in extended functions (RDAEF): 25 units
  • Certification in Basic Life Support (CPR) sponsored by the AHA or ARC

Important Information:  For a dental licensee who posses two licenses, he or she must complete only 25 units of continuing education.  Currently the Dental Board requires that as part of the 25 units, the licensee must complete:

Orthodontist Assistants

What are the requirements for applying to sit for the OA Permit license if I am a practicing unlicensed orthodontic assistant? 

  • Completion of at least 12 months of work experience as a dental assistant with a dentist licensed in one of the states in the US (signed verification of this work experience is required).
  • Completion of an 8 hour infection control (completion within five (5) years of application).
  • Completion of a 2 hour Dental Practice act (completion within five (5) years of application).
  • Completion of a CPR (offered by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or a course approved by the Board as equivalent) courses.
  • Completion of a Board-Approved orthodontic assistant course, which may commence after the completion of six months of work experience as a dental assistant. 

What are the requirements for applying to sit for the OA Permit license if I am a licensed RDA or RDAEF? 

  • Must possess a valid, active and current license as an RDA or RDAEF issued by the Board.
  • Completion of a CPR (offered by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or a course approved by the Board as equivalent) courses.
  • Completion of a Board-Approved orthodontic assistant course, which may commence after the completion of six months of work experience as a dental assistant. 
  • All applicants must submit fingerprint clearances from both the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Identification. This process can take 60 days or more. If an applicant has a criminal history, arrest report and court records must be obtained and investigated before a decision is made to issue or deny the license.

I have all of the requirements listed above…..what is next? 

Go to the Dental Board’s website at www.dbc.ca.gov and download an application for the Orthodontic Assistant license.    Complete the application by answering all of the questions, providing proof of course completion etc.

Once I have received acknowledgement that I am able to sit for the Orthodontic Assistant license, what will the examination consist of?

Passing a State computerized written general and orthodontic knowledge examination.

Where and how do I find those required courses? 

The Expanded Duties Dental Assistant Association (EFDAA) provides comprehensive Dental Board approved courses in the following: