General Chairside (GC)


This Practice Test Will Be Available for Online Purchase/Registration Soon

Course Description | Prerequisites | Typical Course Sequence | Certificant”>Becoming a CDA Certificant“>

Course Description                                                                   

General ChairsideThe General Chairside course manual is designed to prepare you to take Dental Assisting National Board’s (DANB’s) exam on general chairside procedures. The general chairside exam is one of three exams required to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certificant.   

All of the information necessary to pass the DANB exam will be covered in this Home Study course. Some of the subjects that will be covered and discussed in this course include oral pathology, pharmacology, medical emergencies, anesthetics, charting, four-handed techniques, chairside procedures, and dental materials.

No additional textbook purchase is required.  


  • It is a DANB requirement that you have at least 3500 hours of work experience as a dental assistant in at least two years and in no more than a four year period at some point in your career prior to taking the General Chairside Exam.
  • It is also a DANB requirement that you have a current and valid CPR certificate from an approved CPR provider prior to taking the General Chairside Exam.
  • These courses are offered in affiliation with the American Heart Association (an approved provider).  

Dental Assistant Services does not require that you obtain 3500 hours of work experience prior to taking this course, nor do you need to have a valid CPR certificate prior to taking this course. Students may take this course while they are working towards their work experience requirement and/or obtaining a CPR certificate.

In shortyou may take the general chairside course at any time, however until you meet the two prerequisites indicated above to meet the DANB requirements, you will not be able to take the actual General Chairside Exam.

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 hre.

Credential/License: Courses: Exams:
N/A 1. Introductory Dental Assisting None
Dental X-Ray License (LDRT) 2. Dental Radiology Radiation Health & Safety (RHS)
Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Certificate 3. Review of Radiation Health & Safety*
4. Infection Control
5. General Chairside
Radiation Health & Safety (RHS)
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 certificate.

Certificant”>Becoming a CDA Certificant

In order to become a CDA certificant you will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You must show documentation of having earned a high school diploma in the United States or its equivalent.
  2. Once you feel ready you can complete an application to take either the full CDA exam in one four-hour session or you may take each of the three component exams separately. The three component exams (or the three parts of the full exam) are:
    1. Radiation Health & Safety
    2. Infection Control
    3. General Chairside
  3. The application (from DANBis supplied in the manual) requires a signature from a licensed dentist confirming 3500 hours of experience (in no less than two and no more than a four year period at some point in your career.) working as a dental assistant and a valid CPR certificate before you can sit for and take the General Chairside Exam.
  4. When your application has been successfully processed, a DANB letter entitled “Test Admission Notice” will be mailed to you. At this point you can schedule your exam.
  5. After successfully passing either the full CDA exam or the three separate component exams you will receive an official score report in the mail. When you have met all of the requirements, you will automatically be mailed a CDA certificate. If you choose to take the exams separately you must complete all three within a five year period. You do not need to apply separately for your actual CDA certificate after passing the full exam or the three component exams.