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Expanded Functions

Course Description Prerequisites Typical Course Sequence Applying to Become an RDA
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Course Description

The Expanded Functions course is designed to help you prepare for the Dental Assisting National Board's (DANB's  [DANB Disclaimer]) exam on expanded functions.  All of the expanded functions that can be performed by a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) will be covered in this course.  Students will be introduced to these procedures in a classroom setting, where they will also be demonstrated by the instructor. 

Some of the subjects that will be covered and discussed in this course include rubber dams, retraction cords, construction of temporary crowns, cementation and cement removal, periodontal dressing, matrix placement, pit and Cutting a retraction cordfissure sealants, and topical fluoride.  Legal aspects of each of the functions will also be discussed. 

Additionally, all students will receive a thorough course manual describing the content of the course that can be used for reviewing and studying the material.  Course manuals are provided in class.  No additional textbook purchase is required.  This course runs for a total of eight 2 hour class sessions.

Upon completion of this course, students who already hold a CDA  [DANB Disclaimer]certificate will be eligible to receive 20 continuing dental education credits.  Students who already hold an RDA license may also take this course in order to obtain 20 continuing dental education credits that they may use towards both their CDA certification and their RDA license renewal.


Dental Assistant Services does NOT require that you obtain two years of work experience prior to taking this course, nor do you need to have obtained your CDA  [DANB Disclaimer]certification prior to taking this course.  Students may take this course while they are working towards their two years of work experience and/or CDA certificate.  Some students may find that the timing works out such that they choose to take the expanded functions course prior to completing their two years of work experience or obtaining a CDA certification. 
In short... you may take the expanded functions course at any time, however until you meet the two prerequisites indicated above as required by the NJ State Board of Dentistry you will not be able to obtain an RDA license.  Most students will take this course last and we would typically encourage you to do so as well.

Typical Course Sequence

This chart displays the usual order that students will take our courses and the order in which they obtain their credentials.  For a more detailed overview, please click here.

Credential/License: Courses:
N/A 1. Introductory Dental Assisting None
Dental X-Ray License (LDRT)
2. Dental Radiology
Radiation Health & Safety (RHS  [DANB Disclaimer])
Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Certificate  [DANB Disclaimer]
3. Review of Radiation Health & Safety*
4. Infection Control
5. General Chairside
Radiation Health & Safety (RHS  [DANB Disclaimer])
Infection Control
General Chairside
Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)
6. Expanded Functions
Expanded Functions

*If you obtained your dental x-ray license in NJ you will most likely not have to take the Review of Radiation Health & Safety course in order to obtain a CDA  [DANB Disclaimer]certificate.

Applying to Become an RDA

In order to obtain your license as an RDA you will need to meet the following requirements:
  1. You must already hold a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA  [DANB Disclaimer]) certificate.
  2. You must have two years of experience working as a dental assistant within the past five years.
  3. You must apply to take and pass DANB's  [DANB Disclaimer]exam on expanded functions (formally called the NJ Expanded Duties - General Exam or NJXDG exam).
  4. Upon completion of these requirements you may submit an application to the NJ State Board of Dentistry.  As part of the application for your RDA license, you'll also need to complete the following:
    1. A form authorizing a criminal background check be performed.
    2. A brief jurisprudence exam indicating that you are aware of what functions can and cannot be performed by dental assistants at various levels of credentialing.  (This material will be covered in class.)
A dental assistant taking an alginate impression Once you finish the Expanded Functions course you should apply to take the expanded functions exam.  Applications and instructions will be provided in class.  After passing the examination you may submit the "Application for Dental Assistant License" to the NJ State Board of Dentistry.  It is important to note that while it is DANB's  [DANB Disclaimer]exam that you'll take, it is the NJ State Board of Dentistry that awards you the actual RDA license. 

The process of obtaining an RDA license can be confusing as there are several components, several options, and multiple applications.  At Dental Assistant Services we try to simplify the process as much as possible.  We've been through the process numerous times and are here to offer you the benefit of our experience.  We will not simply teach you the course content and send you on your way.  We understand the process and how confusing it can be, and will actually take the time to walk you through that process.

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