Most states adapt employment policies that require individuals to acquire their professional license before they can get hired for the job. This is quite advantageous to employers since they can be assured that the person they are hiring for the job is credible and skilled to perform the responsibilities that he will handle later on. The state requirement for professional accreditation also holds true for those who want to work as professional dental assistants, and aspiring assistants to dentists should be able to acquire their professional license from a national examination on dental assistant certification. Although graduates can also work as non-certified dental assistants, obtaining a license can prove to be more beneficial especially for those who want to pursue a serious career path in the dental-care profession.
The national examination for dental assistant certification is conducted by the Dental Assisting National Bard (DANB) and the exam is composed of three parts. One component of the exam is the Radiation Health and Safety. This part is composed of a 100-item multiple choice type of examination which examines the candidates’ eligibility to perform a related-dental health procedure. Another component of the examination for dental assistant certification would be Infection Control Examination. As with the RHS examination, the Infection control examination is also composed of a 100-item multiple choice examination. Both examinations do not require documentation and prerequisites from the candidates. The third part, however, which is the General Chairside examination, has documentation and prerequisite requirements from the examinees.
Taking an examination can be nerve-wrecking and daunting, so it is the candidate’s responsibility to prepare and have full knowledge of what goes on before, during and after the examination:
1. Requirements: Policies differ from one state to another, so a candidate must first inquire the necessary certification that his state requires. As there are no standard policies regarding dental assistant certification, aspiring dental assistants should ask their colleges on the information concerning the qualifying examination.
2. School accreditation: Dental assistant certification starts with the proper formal training from a duly accredited school. It is therefore important that the student check first if the dental assistant school that he will be attending is accredited by the dental assistant educational board. Accredited schools follow a certain curriculum which are continually checked on by the educational board and this accreditation allows their graduates to become eligible for the dental assistant certification exam. The same accreditation is also used by online dental assistant schools.
3. Exam preparation: aside from gathering all the requirements, a candidate has to be knowledgeable in the technical and written aspects of the dental assistant profession in order to acquire dental assistant certification. Getting the appropriate review paraphernalias, as well as talking and interviewing past exam-takers is important to fully-prepare for the examination. Experiences gathered from internship and externship trainings can also prove to be valuable tools during the examination for dental assistant certification, so it is equally important that a student observes and performs well during his stint as an on-the-job trainee for a dental assistant job.
The road to being a professionally licensed dental assistant lies in the dental assistant certification. This in turn provides dental assistants with more stable job placements and higher salary incentives as compared to their non-certified counterparts. Acquiring a dental assistant certification could also open other opportunities to a licensed dental assistant and allows him to work in other States other than his locality. There are a lot of benefits that a dental assistant certification can provide, hence acquiring the proper accreditation is an important step for a dental assistant right after he graduates from an accredited dental assistant school.