FAQ

General FAQs

1. What is Dental Assistant Services?

Dental Assistant Services is a training program designed to help individuals obtain the credentials and skills they need to become fully functioning dental assistants in the state of New Jersey.  Our program is designed to help students learn about the necessary materials and develop the necessary skills though a combination of classroom instruction, discussion, demonstration, and hands-on practice to pass the state required examinations and to be prepared to enter the field of dental assisting as a desirable job candidate.  We also offer continuing education courses and some assistance finding employment.

2. What's the difference between a CDA, RDA, and an x-ray license?

Our page entitled Types of Dental Assistants provides a nice overview of the similarities and differences between the various credentials that a dental assistant in NJ can obtain.  Those differences relate in part to educational backgrounds, testing and experience requirements, and specific job responsibilities granted to the various types of dental assistants.  Be sure to look at the summary at the bottom of the page.

3. How do I sign up for "the CDA course"?

Earning a CDA certificate entails more than taking a single course.  There are a series of three required examinations and three corresponding courses that will help you to obtain your certification.

After passing one of these three required exams you can earn a dental x-ray license.  This will make you more employable and help you gain the additional experience requirement necessary to become a CDA certificant.  As a result, most students will pursue a dental x-ray license first by taking our Dental Radiology course.  Afterwards, they continue on in pursuing their CDA certification.

If you are brand new to the field, we encourage you to explore the Career section of our website by selecting Career from the pull down menus at the top of this page.

4. Does it matter what order I take the courses in?

Though there are some exceptions based upon your background and experience, program courses are typically taken in a certain order.  Please click here to view the Typical Course Sequence and for more information about the specific program courses we offer.

5. Do I need to be previously or currently employed to take the radiology course?

Current employment is not required in order to register for the Dental Radiology course.  Part of the course however includes a clinical component where you will work in an actual dental office.  Many students will choose to do their clinical at an office where they are already employed. This is not a requirement.  It is possible to do your clinical at an office where you are not already employed.

6. On average, how long does it take to get a dental x-ray license?

While individual times will vary, on average you can expect to spend approximately six or seven months from when you begin taking the required radiology course to the time when you are finished with the clinical component of the course and ready to take the exam and formally apply for your license.  For a summary of the requirements necessary to obtain a dental x-ray license in NJ, please click here.

On average, how long does it take to get a CDA certificate?

As with the dental x-ray license, individual times will vary.  If you already have a dental x-ray license and passed the exam to get that license within the past five years you will still have two additional courses that are offered as ‘home study courses’ (Infection Control & General Chairside). 

There is also an experience requirement of 2 years (minimum).  If you are just starting out in the field, you can expect that it will take at least about 2½ years to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA ) certificant.  Please “>click here for further information.

8. On average, how long does it take to get an RDA?

The Expanded Functions course that prepares you for the exam required to become an RDA is offered as a ‘Home Study Course’. Although you may choose to take more or less time to study for the exam, most students are able to become a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in approximately 2 months.  Please note that having a CDA certificate is a prerequisite to becoming an RDA.

9. How successful are your students in passing the exams required to obtain the various dental assisting credentials?

Our students have traditionally done exceptionally well and we have consistently scored as one of the top training programs in the state year after year.  Our program is designed not only to prepare you to pass the required exams, but also to be a desirable job candidate in a dental office.

FAQs about registration

1. How do I register for a course?

It depends on the type of course you want to register for. If you want to register for a program course (i.e. those designed to help you earn your dental x-ray license, CDA [DANB Disclaimer]certificate, and/or RDA) you must download a registration form, complete it, and return it to our office. If you would like to register for a continuing education course you can either use a registration form or register online. Please visit our registration page for further details, including payment options.

2. What forms of payment do you accept?
  • If you are mailing in a registration form, you can send us either a personal check or a money order.
  • If you are hand delivering a registration form, we can accept personal checks, money orders, cash, or credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).
  • If you are paying online, you can use either a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover) or a PayPal account balance.  A PayPal account is not required.
3. What is your refund policy if I have to withdraw from a course?

Please speak with our office manager, Emil Villanueva.  You can either stop in and speak with him in person or call him at 732-919-1816.

FAQs about purchasing a Home Study Course

1. How do I purchase a ‘Home Study’ course?

Please visit our registration page for further details, including payment options.

2. What forms of payment do you accept?
  • If you are mailing in a registration form, you can send us either a personal check or a money order.
  • If you are hand delivering a registration form, we can accept personal checks, money orders, cash, or credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).
  • If you are paying online, you can use either a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover) or a PayPal account balance.  A PayPal account is not required.
3. What is your refund policy?

Home Study Courses are not refundable.

FAQs about the clinical component of the radiology course

1. When can I start my clinical?

Before you can begin the clinical component you must first successfully complete the first two components of the Radiology course (the didactic or instructional and the laboratory components). Dental Assistant Services will then provide you with a clinical affiliation application to complete. The purpose of this application is to have the NJDEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) approve of the location where you plan to do your clinical. Once this approval process is complete, you may begin your clinical.

2. How do I find a site to do my clinical?

The office where you do your clinical must be a location where you can be supervised by a properly licensed individual and that has been approved by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Students can usually complete their clinical at an office where they are already employed. While it is ultimately your responsibility to locate a dental office where you can obtain your clinical training, if you need help locating an office Dental Assistant Services may be able to provide some assistance.

3. Where do I get a film badge from?
Dental Assistant Services will provide you with both a name tag and a film badge before you begin your clinical assignment. The name tag identifies you as a student and indicates that you have permission to take radiographs during your clinical. The film badge detects and measures any radiation you may be exposed to while exposing radiographs.
4. Do I have to wear my name tag and/or film badge even if the office I work in tells me not to?

Yes, according to state law it is illegal for you to operate radiographic equipment, take dental radiographs, position a patient, and/or position a film in the mouth of a patient without a name tag and film badge or a license. Thus all students are required to wear both their name tag and film badge at all times throughout the duration of their clinical assignment.

Failure to do so may subject you, DAS, and/or the dental office you’re working in to various penalties and fines. Furthermore, your Clinical Affiliation Application may be revoked keeping you from completing your clinical and ultimately from obtaining your license.

5. Is it okay to hold a dental film in the mouth of a patient during a radiographic exposure?
No. Nobody, whether student or licensed dental radiologic technologist, may hold a film or be in the line of the radiation beam.
6. I've already taken x-rays prior to starting the clinical portion of the radiology course. Can I use this experience towards the clinical requirement?
It is illegal in the state of New Jersey to operate radiographic equipment, to take dental radiographs, or even to position the patient and/or dental film without a license or approval to begin your clinical. As a result, no it would not count towards the clinical requirement.
7. I'm doing my clinical with a dental group that has multiple offices. Am I allowed to take x-rays at all of their offices?
When you complete your clinical affiliation form it will only be valid for a single office location. If you expect to perform your clinical at more than one location you should obtain and submit for approval a separate form for each additional office or location you expect to work at.
8. If I'm pregnant can I still complete the clinical component?
Yes, if you are pregnant you are still allowed to either begin or complete your clinical. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection has indicated that it is safe for an operator to take radiographs while pregnant. Dental Assistant Services will also provide you with a written pregnancy policy upon being advised of your pregnancy.
9. If my film badge expires, what should I do?
According to state law all students are required to wear their assigned film badge at all times throughout the duration of their clinical assignment. If your film badge is about to expire please contact us to obtain a new one. If it has already expired you are not legally permitted to continue your clinical or to continue taking dental radiographs until you receive a replacement.
10. I just finished my clinical experience. Can I continue to take x-rays while waiting to receive my license?
Once you have completed the clinical component you should stop taking dental radiographs until you receive your license.
11. I just finished my clinical experience. What do I do now?

First off, congratulations. You’re one step closer to obtaining your license! After you have finished the required clinical component please return your film badge, along with your “clinical affiliation application”, and a completed “Dental Radiographic Verification of Curriculum Completion form” to Dental Assistant Services. These will be provided to you. After processing, we will then provide you with the remaining paperwork necessary to obtain your dental x-ray license.

12. Who can I ask if I have other questions about what is and is not legally permitted during my clinical?

You may contact the Bureau of X-Ray Compliance (a division of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection) by calling 609-984-5890 or click here for a list of email addresses under their ” technologist certification section”.

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I was looking into Dental Assisting and found schools that were expensive and long courses. I started asking around and was told about Gail. She came highly recommended from other professionals and she has reasonable prices for her courses and really prepares her students.

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Contact Us Today

Dental Assistant Services
P.O. Box 446
Spring Lake, NJ 07762

By Phone: 732-919-1816

By Fax: 732-403-1500

Gail Scarola-Villanueva (Primary Instructor)