It is always good to have an advantage over the competition in any field of work. In the field of dentistry, there are many people applying for dental assistant positions. Most states do not yet require a dental assistant to be certified, but being certified is one way for a person to stand out in the growing field of applicants. Having a certification often allows the applicant to choose the best job for him instead of having to wait for someone to take a chance on him. Certified dental assistants usually earn a higher rate of pay than their uncertified counterparts.
The standards for certification as a dental assistant were set by the Dental Assisting National Board. The exam to become a certified dental assistant or CDA is made up of three parts. The first component called the General Chairside is a test composed of one hundred and twenty multiple choice questions. These questions are based on basic duties and fundamentals of the dental assistant position.
The second component consists of a one hundred multiple question exam on the subject of infection control. These focus on communicable diseases a dental assistant may come in contact with on the job and how to prevent the spread of disease. The third section of the exam consists of a one hundred question multiple choice test over the subject of health and safety. This section consists of mostly common sense safety questions.
In preparation for the CDA review, it is recommended to purchase a study guide and review any classroom materials provided in the CDA program. Training and study guides can be found online to assist in study if a person needs additional resources. The actual exam can be either taken using the computer or as a written exam.
For best results on the exam it is recommended that the exam be taken as soon after completing a CDA program as possible, before the information begins to fade. Test anxiety may increase as time passes and the information will be less fresh. The test needs to be taken before taking a job as a dental assistant, because it is less likely a person will complete the final examination for certification, if he already has secured a job.
Some states allow dental assistants who have completed the certification program to perform some of the dental procedures in the office to save the Dentist time. This makes a certified assistant a much more valuable asset in the office thus worthy of higher pay, better benefits and first choice of open positions.
In most states the Dental Assistant Certification Exam is held monthly. Schedules for exam dates are usually handed out by course instructors, but can also be obtained through the state dental board or through the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. Rates to take the test vary by state and can be found at the same locations as the schedules.
At the present time, anyone wishing to become a dental assistant has the option of becoming certified, because it is not a necessity. It may be a requirement at some point in the future and those who have not taken the test will find it much more difficult several years after completing the program to go back and take the examination. Being certified does qualify an applicant for the choice positions and a better pay scale. It is highly recommended to complete the exam to become certified.
Overall, if you want to be a trusted and reputable cosmetic dentist in Turlock, it is important to consider a lot of things. You need to undergo a lot of trainings and you need to keep on practicing your field so you can be totally good at it.