Dental Assistant Services provides a variety of courses designed to help you obtain and maintain your dental assisting credentials. Below is a brief description of our program courses. The course information below is not complete, but simply a summary.
Clicking on the name of the course will provide a more detailed course description.
If you prefer you can also:
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.
|N/A||1. Introductory Dental Assisting||None|
|Dental X-Ray License (LDRT)||2. Dental Radiology||Radiation Health & Safety
|Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Certificate ✝||3. Review of Radiation Health & Safety*
4. Infection Control
5. General Chairside
|Radiation Health & Safety
|Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)||6. Expanded Functions||Expanded Functions|
Introductory Dental Assisting
The Introductory Dental Assisting Home Study Course is designed for the student with little to no experience or knowledge about the dental field. It is highly recommended that you take this course first. Students will learn about basic dental assisting terminology, procedures, and materials. Click on the course title for more information.
A Dental Radiology course must be approved by the Bureau of X-Ray Compliance (which is part of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection) and needs to prepare students to take a licensing exam that will lead you to become a Licensed Dental Radiologic Technologist. Based on state requirements this course is over 70 hours in length and consists of a didactic (or instructional) component, a laboratory component, and a clinical component (like an internship) at a state approved dental office. If you are looking to get your dental x-ray license in NJ. DAS offers an excellent Home Study Course Aid for the didactic portion to assist you while you are attending an approved live course at a provider of your choice. Click on the course title for more information, including information for non-NJ residents.
Working towards your CDA Certification
Becoming a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA ) certificant entails successfully passing three of the Dental Assisting National Board’s (DANB’s ) exams. Each of the three courses below can help you in preparing for the associated DANB exam. There is a natural progression to the courses and as a result the majority of students will take the courses in the order listed below. General Chairside has an experience requirement of at least two years, which leads many students to take the other courses while building up the required two years of work experience. That being said, it is not mandatory that you take the courses in this order (just recommended).
In order to obtain your CDA certificate you will need to successfully pass three component exams. These DANB exams include: Radiation Health & Safety (RHS ), Infection Control, and General Chairside. Most New Jersey based dental assistants will take the full Dental Radiology course and DANB’s RHS exam as part of the requirements to obtain their dental x-ray license. Although some people may have obtained their license without taking the RHS exam in New Jersey (for example, they may have taken a similar exam out of state), if you already passed the RHS exam in order to obtain your New Jersey dental x-ray license (and you did so within the last five years) you will not need to take the Review of Radiation Health & Safety course or retake the RHS exam in order to obtain your CDA certificate. We understand that this can be quite confusing. Please click on the link below if you would like further information about the Review of Radiation Health & Safety course. Otherwise, assuming that you do not need to take this course you can move directly onto Infection Control.
This Home Study Course will introduce you to all of the important infection control terminology, techniques, and procedures. Some of the subjects covered include transmittable and bloodborne diseases, cross infection, modes of transmission, the potential for employee exposure to infectious materials, sharps disinfection, sterilization, barrier protection, personal protective equipment, and exposure incident procedures. All current and applicable OSHA regulations and CDC guidelines will also be covered. This component does not require any experience to take the exam.
The Home Study General Chairside Course will introduce you to the dental materials and procedures necessary to be a fully qualified and functioning chairside assistant. Some of the topics covered in this course include oral pathology, pharmacology, medical emergencies, anesthetics, charting, and four-handed techniques. Only after you have met the two-year experience requirement and have a valid CPR certificate can you take the DANB exam on general chairside procedures that this course prepares you for.
Working towards your RDA
Becoming a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) is the highest level of credentialing that a New Jersey dental assistant can legally obtain and allows you to perform the widest array of functions and take on the most responsibility. Additionally, being licensed as an RDA will afford you the greatest range of employment opportunities and a higher potential salary. Unlike earning your CDA certification, an RDA license only requires one additional examination.
However before you can take DANB’s exam on expanded functions, which is the one designed to help you obtain your RDA, you must already have a CDA certificate and at least two years of experience as a dental assistant within the last five years.
The Home Study Expanded Functions Course will teach you about the various expanded (or additional) functions that a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) can legally perform. These include functions such as rubber dams, retraction cords, construction of temporary crowns, cementation, periodontal dressing, matrix placement, pit and fissure sealants, and topical fluoride. This course will not only prepare you for the Expanded Functions exam, but will also provide you with the necessary information to pass a brief jurisprudence exam that is also required as part of the process of becoming an RDA. Please click on the course title for further information.
Additionally, practice tests are available for both current students preparing to take a DANB exam as well as prospective students who would like to test their knowledge before purchasing a Home Study Course with us. These tests are taken on a computer (as are the actual DANB exams) and allow you the opportunity to go back and look at what questions you may have gotten wrong so that you can learn from your mistakes. Practice tests are available in four subject areas to correspond to the applicable DANB exams. Please click on the link for further information.