Getting Dental Assistant Certification
Getting dental assistant certification from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) can prove beneficial to your career as a dental assistant, no matter if you’re just starting out or you’re a longtime veteran of the field. Because not all dentists require dental assistant certification, you may not be certified even after spending some time working in the field or as a dental trainee. However, spending the time to take an exam in order to receive dental assistant certification can provide a number of benefits.
If you have dental assistant certification, your chances of securing a job are greater than if you do not have the certification. This is because you may possess similar skills and experiences to another job candidate, but having that certification can be the edge that one of you possesses in order to land the job. If you are currently employed as a dental assistant, you’ll increase your odds of keeping your job or easily acquiring a new job should your current dentists retire or change their hiring policy or you need to move to a new dental practice. You may also be eligible for a higher salary than the dental assistants who are not certified.
Most dental assistant schools can help you through the process to take the exam for dental assistant certification, as the requirements differ from state to state. If you haven’t attended a dental school due to on-the-job training, you usually must have two years’ worth of on-the-job experience before you’re eligible to take the exam. Expect to spend about $125 to register and take the exam.
The dental assistant certification exam consists of about 320 questions that cover your general chairside skills, your radiation and health safety knowledge, and your understanding of infection control. You will be given up to four hours to complete the exam.
Having dental assistant certification shows that the DANB recognizes you as professionally competent and able to perform your job. The rewards of certification include greater job security, higher chances of getting a job and a potentially higher salary.