Dentist and dental assistant examining patient

Quick Guide to Advanced DANB Certifications

By Natalie Winzer, iHire

The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), founded in 1948, currently certifies more than 36,000 individuals in the US. In addition to the commonly known Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential, DANB also offers the specialized/advanced Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA), Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA), and Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA) designations.

While each state has their own official qualifications, permitted functions, and titles for dental assistants, at the moment, 38 states, Washington, DC, the US Airforce, and the Department of Veterans Affairs either recognize or require a DANB certification to perform expanded duties (a key component to career growth). Furthermore, according to DANB’s 2014 Salary Survey, DANB certificate holders earn nearly $2 more per hour than non-certified dental assistants.

If you’ve achieved your CDA, is pursuing an advanced DANB certification (or multiple) right for you? Check out this quick guide to the organization’s supplemental credentials.

Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA)

The initial required exams (no prerequisites) for the COA credential include:

  • Infection Control (ICE)
  • Orthodontic Assisting (OA)

Once these exams are passed, you may take one of four eligibility pathways toward the COA exam. Requirements may include a minimum of 3,500 hours of approved work experience, active CPR certification from a DANB-accepted provider, and/or completion of a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited orthodontic assisting prep course.

For a detailed breakdown of each pathway, view the DANB COA exam application packet.

Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA)

The initial required exams (no prerequisites) for the CPFDA credential include:

  • Coronal Polish (CP)
  • Sealants (SE)
  • Topical Anesthetic (TA)
  • Topical Fluoride (TF)

Once these exams are passed, you may take one of four eligibility pathways toward the CPFDA exam. Requirements may include an active DANB CDA certification, minimum of 3,500 hours of approved work experience within the last four years, active CPR, BLS, or ACLS certification from a DANB-accepted provider, and/or verification of knowledge/performance-based competencies in all four CPFDA functions through one of the following: relevant course offered by a CODA-accredited dental assisting, hygiene, or other dental program, state dental board-approved course, or dentist verification of knowledge/performance.

For a detailed breakdown of each pathway, view the DANB CPFDA exam application packet.

Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA)

The initial required exams (no prerequisites) for the CRFDA credential include:

  • Anatomy, Morphology, and Physiology (AMP)
  • Impressions (IM)
  • Temporaries (TMP)
  • Isolation (IS)
  • Sealants (SE)
  • Restorative Functions (RF)

Once these exams are passed, you may take one of three eligibility pathways toward the CRFDA exam. Requirements may include an active or inactive (lapsed no longer than two years) DANB CDA credential, active CPR, BLS, or ACLS certification from a DANB-accepted provider, graduation from a CODA-accredited dental assisting program, completion of a CODA-accredited expanded functions or restorative course, and/or a minimum of 3,500 hours of approved work experience within the last four years.

For a detailed breakdown of each pathway, view the DANB CRFDA exam application packet.

Source:

DANB Exams & Certifications


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