FAQs 2019-01-29T00:10:36+00:00


Because there is a great deal of information and details related to regulation of dental assistants in California, we have addressed those frequently asked questions not only for the RDAEF2, but the other members of the dental TEAM. You will find these questions organized under their subject area.

Unlicensed dental assistants, RDAs, OAs, RDAEF2 and their requirements

Are there any course requirements for me, as a dental assistant?

A dental assistant may only expose dental x-rays after successfully completing a board-approved radiation safety techniques course.  In addition, a dental assistant must complete the following courses after 120 days of continuous employment to within a year of date of employment:

  • Course in basic life support sponsored by the American Heart Association or American Red Cross
  • Dental Board approved course in infection control, which must be at least 8 hours in length;
  • Dental Board approved course in the California Dental Practice Act.

At the Dental Board meeting in February 2010, the DB decided that these three courses are required for those dental assistants who are hired in a dental office after January 1, 2010.  If a dental assistant is working for a dentist in 2009, he/she does not have to complete this requirement until after he/she changes jobs and goes to work for a new dentist.

Must a dental assistant maintain his/her basic life support certification?

*Yes, a dental assistant must maintain basic life support certification by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association.

Explanation of Pit and Fissure Sealants Certificate

I need a copy of my pit and fissure sealant certificate, but I lost it, what do I do?

  • You can request a new certificate from the provider who taught the course.

Moving out of state, and the new state needs verification of my pit and fissure sealant certification. I sent the certificate to the Dental Board (Board) to be put on my license, and I no longer have it, what do I do?

  • What you are ultimately requesting is a certification of your license. You need to make your request to the Board in writing, along with the $50 fee for a certification of a license. The pit and fissure sealant information will be included in the license certification.

I sent my request for a license certification 2 weeks ago, how long does it take?

  • The license certification process takes approximately 4 weeks, plus mailing time.

For more information, call (916)-263-2300 or email DA.Program@dca.ca.gov.

Once I have a radiation safety certification to take dental x-rays, must it be renewed?

No, once you have completed a course, you need not renew this certification.

My dentist wants my x-ray certificate for his files, what should I do?

It is important that you keep this certificate forever. Make a copy and give the copy to your employer. Never give the original.

What are the new requirements to become an RDA after 2010?

Applicants via the work experience pathway must have 15 months (1,280 hours) of satisfactory of work experience with a licensed dentist in the United States.  All applicants must have completed a board-approved course in the California Dental Practice Act, an 8-hour board-approved course in infection control, and a course in basic life support within five years prior to application.

Complete a California Department of Education approved 4-month educational program and 11 months of work experience with a dentist(s) licensed in one of the states of the United States.

Must complete board approved courses in Radiation Safety and Coronal Polishing. Submit fingerprint clearances from both the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigations, process may take up to 60 days or more. If a candidate has a criminal history, the arrest report and court records must be obtained and investigated before a decision is made to issue or deny the license.

In order to obtain a California registered dental assistant (RDA) candidates must pass a State computerized General knowledge and Law and Ethics Examination. Until further notice the Practical examination is still under review until January 1, 2020.

How do I apply for the RDA exam?

You must file an application with the Dental Board. All applicants must also submit appropriate forms according to how you are qualifying for the examination and send the additional form with pathway of Education only, Work experience only or mixed Education and Work experience. You may do this by downloading an application form along with the proper qualifying form which are found on the Dental Board website.

When is the RDA written exam scheduled?

Effective May 24, 2018 the RDA Written Examination and the RDA Law and Ethics Examination are combined. The exam is now computerized and scheduled by appointment at designated testing sites given by PSI Licensure: certification. You may get a detailed explanation by going to the Dental Board website.

When do I get my exam dates for the written RDA?

You begin by filing your application with Dental Board. After Dental Board determines that you are qualified to sit for the written exam, they will send eligibility to the examination administration contractor at that time PSI will mail a scheduling notice indicating how the candidate may schedule an examination. Examination eligibility expires two years once you receive the date of your application was received by the DB.

I work in an orthodontic office and wish to become a Permitted Orthodontic Assistant…what must I do?

Completion of at least 12 months of work experience as a dental assistant. Board-Approved course in the Dental Practice Act and a Board-Approved, course in infection control. Basic life support offered by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, or any other course approved by the Board as equivalent. Board-Approved OA course, which may commence after the completion of six months of work experience as a dental assistant. Passing a written examination administered by the DB. Submit Live scan fingerprints. If you are a licensed RDA or RDAEF, you do not have to provide documentation of work experience or complete the 8-hour infection control.  You must maintain the CE requirements as an RDA, which includes CPR certification and completion of a 4-hour IC/DPA courses.

What does a dental assistant do to become permitted as a Dental Sedation assistant?

Completion of at least 12 months of work experience as a dental assistant. Completion of a board-approved course in the Dental Practice Act DB approved, course in infection control. Completion of basic life support offered by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, or any other course approved by the DB as equivalent. Successful completion of a board-approved dental sedation assistant course, which may commence after the completion of six months of work experience as a dental assistant. Passage of a written examination administered by the board after completion of all the other requirements stated above. Submit Live scan fingerprints from both the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Identification.

I now possess a current RDAEF license…what must I do to perform the new duties to the new RDAEF2 category?

I must successfully complete a minimum of a Dental Board 381 hour RDAEF2 course and pass a state administered practical examination.

I am currently an RDA…what must I do to become an RDAEF2?

  • You must possess a current licensure as an RDA;
  • Complete a board-approved course in the application of pit and fissure sealants;
  • Complete a Dental Board approved 410-hour EF course;
  • Pass a written; simulated practical and clinical state DB examination administered.

I am currently an RDAEF…what must I do to become an RDAEF2?

What if I lose a course or program certificate from any of EFDAA’s courses what must I do?

  • Submit a $25 MO or cashier’s check for the processing of a new certificate.
  • Send the payment and information on approximately when and where you took the course.

We will then issue you a duplicate certificate.

Important Information: for specific questions not answered on this site, you can also e-mail us at efdaa4u@efdaaservices.com.

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