Milwaukee
Madison
Green Bay
Kenosha
Racine
Appleton
Waukesha
Oshkosh
Eau Claire
Allis
Janesville
La Crosse
Sheboygan
Wauwatosa
Fond du Lac
Brookfield
Wausau
New Berlin
Beloit
Greenfield

Wisconsin

Charleston
Huntington
Parkersburg
Wheeling
Morgantown
Weirton
Fairmont
Beckley
Clarksburg
Martinsburg
South Charleston
Teays Valley
St Albans
Bluefield
Vienna
Cross Lanes
Moundsville
Dunbar
Oak Hill
Bridgeport

West Virginia

Seattle
Spokane
Tacoma
Vancouver
Bellevue
Everett
Federal Way
Kent
Yakima
Bellingham
Lakewood
Kennewick
Shoreline
Renton
Redmond
Kirkland
Olympia
Auburn
Edmonds
Richland - Washington

Beach
Norfolk
Chesapeake
Richmond
Arlington
Newport News
Hampton
Alexandria
Portsmouth
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Suffolk
Burke
Reston
Dale City
Annandale
Centreville
Danville
Charlottesville
Tuckahoe - Virginia

Burlington
Rutland
South Burlington
Barre
Bennington
Essex Junction
Brattleboro
Montpelier
St Albans
Winooski
St Johnsbury
Middlebury
Newport
Springfield
West Brattleboro
Northfield
Bellows Falls
Vergennes
White River Junction
Swanton - Vermont

Salt Lake City
West Valley City
Provo
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West Jordan
Layton
Taylorsville
St George
Logan
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Murray
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Roy
Millcreek
South Jordan
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Midvale
Clearfield - Utah

Memphis
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Knoxville
Chattanooga
Clarksville
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Jackson
Johnson City
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Franklin
Franklin
Hendersonville
Bartlett
Bartlett
Germantown
Cleveland
Columbia
Collierville
Oak Ridge
Smyrna - Tennessee

Sioux Falls
Rapid City
Aberdeen
Watertown
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Mitchell
Pierre
Yankton
Huron
Vermillion
Spearfish
Rapid Valley
Madison
Sturgis
Brandon
Belle Fourche
Ellsworth AFB
Hot Springs
Milbank
Mobridge - South Dakota

Columbia
Charleston
North Charleston
Greenville
Rock Hill
Mount Pleasant
Spartanburg
Sumter
Hilton Head Island
Florence
Goose Creek
Summerville
Anderson
Aiken
Myrtle Beach
Greenwood
St Andrews
Wade Hampton
Taylors
Easley - South Carolina

Providence
Warwick
Cranston
Pawtucket
East Providence
Woonsocket
North Providence
West Warwick
Newport
Bristol
Central Falls
Westerly
Barrington
Valley Falls
Newport East
Greenville
Wakefield-Peacedale
Cumberland Hill
Tiverton
Kingston - Rhode Island

 

Preparing for the Dental Assistant State Exam and Becoming Certified

In order to become a dental assistant, one must first pass the dental assistant state exam in most states and can also become certified. Each state offers its own exam and although there may be some minor differences between the tests, the general knowledge that is tested is the same everywhere. Due to the similarities, state licensing exams for dental assistants are commonly referred to as DATs, or Dental Admission Tests.

Most dental assistant training programs and schools are designed to provide the necessary training and education to pass the respective state exam. No further coursework for the exam beyond the dental assisting program is necessary but many candidates find it helpful to study as the exam is very serious. The subjects covered are dental procedures, dental safety, dental tools and equipment, and technology. In many cases, there is also a procedural component to the exam in which students are required to demonstrate knowledge of general dental assistant processes by executing typical procedures as they would be done on the job and displaying proper safety techniques.

 

 

Exam Specifics

The Dental Assisting National Board, or DANB, offers national certification exams for dental assistants called the CDA or Certified Dental Assistant and is recognized in 30 states in place of the state exam. Study materials, tips, and practice exams for this multiple-choice exam can be found on their official website, as well as a list of individual requirements listed by state. The DANB also offer exams on various components that can be taken separately from the general test and are widely recognized such as Radiation Health and Safety and Infection Control.

The written certification exams are offered each June, but it is possible to take a computerized version of the CDA at any time during the year. After your application is approved, you will be notified of the date and time for your scheduled exam. The fee for the exam is $300 with discounts available for military personnel. If you do not pass the exam, you will only need to re-take the portions that you failed and you have five years to do so. Keep in mind that certain states have rules that require students to complete additional coursework after failing an exam. The certificate is valid for one year and is renewable each year beyond that. 12 hours of continuing dental education or CDE credits as well as a current CPR certification are the requirements for renewal.

 

More About The Exam

Four hours are given to complete the CDA exam, which consists of 120 questions on General Chairside Procedure, 100 questions on Infection Control and then another 100 questions on Radiation Health & Safety. The score range is from 100-900 with 400 considered the minimum passing score. There is a slight curve on scoring the exam which takes into account overall performance by other students.

As dental exams are timed, it is important to take practice exams so you can practice pacing yourself. It is important to know beforehand how much time you can afford to devote to each question, so that you can spend enough time to decipher any tricky wording but not so much time that you are unable to complete all of the questions in the allotted time. Students are advised not to leave any questions blank- it is far better to guess at an unknown answer than to simply not answer it.

Certification is an important part of any career in order to demonstrate that job candidates have undergone the necessary training to effectively conduct their work. Even in rare cases where certification is not required, certification is still highly recommended because it gives job seekers an edge and also results in higher salaries and job security.

 

 


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