Becoming A Certified Dental Assistant

Many dental assistants choose to pursue one or more certifications through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) after completion of a training program. Registration with DANB is not required for working in dental assisting in every state. However, by obtaining and adding certification to your resume, you can better demonstrate your verified knowledge of dental care. Certification makes you more marketable as you pursue employment in dental practices or other dentistry settings.

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Types of Dental Assistant Exams and Certifications

Component Exams (RHS, ICE, AMP, GC)

Some dental assistant duties and tasks do require specific types of credentials. For instance, in many states, including Arizona, dental assistants must have a certification to process patient x-rays. This distinct type of credential is obtained through a component exam for Radiation Health and Safety (RHS).

Dental assisting student at Arizona College

Dental Assistant Certifications

How Arizona College Helps You Become a Certified Dental Assistant

Begin your journey to becoming a certified dental assistant with the Dental Assisting Training Program at Arizona College. Two of the component exams necessary for certification, Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and Infection Control (ICE), can be completed during this program. RHS and ICE have no eligibility requirements.

Arizona College recommends that our students take the RHS examination after completing the radiology course and lab and ICE after completing the infection control course and lab.

The RHS credential will allow you to legally expose radiographs in many states, including Arizona, which will open up more opportunities for you in the clinical externship component of our dental assisting program.

The General Chairside Exam (GC) is available to graduates of our dental assistant program after a minimum of two years’ experience in the dental field.

Dental Assistant Tray with Tools

Eligibility Requirements

The RHS and other component exams essentially serve as stepping stones for different types and levels of dental assistant certifications. They are an essential part of how to become a certified dental assistant. Eligibility requirements for the five types of certified dental assistant certifications offered by DANB include successful completion of several component examinations.

The 13 component exams for dental assistant certifications are:

Costs and Timelines for Dental Assistant Certification Exams

Students may apply for RHS and ICE exams through Arizona College’s dental assisting program or on the Dental Assisting National Board’s (DANB) website.

  • It is important to note that fees are due with the exam application.
    • Each exam, individually, costs around $250.
    • By taking the RHS and ICE exams together, you can get a cost savings.
  • Each exam takes 1.25 hours and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.
    • Exam blueprints and study materials can be obtained by visiting the DANB website.
  • Expect 3 to 4 weeks for the exam application to be processed. Once approved, the applicant will receive a testing notice to sign up at a local testing center.
  • Students can purchase study outlines and practice examinations by visiting the DANB website.
  • After testing, an unofficial pass/fail report will be provided, and the official results will be mailed to the exam taker in 3 to 4 weeks.

Dental Assistant Training at Arizona College

We invite you to learn more about our accredited school and our hands-on dental assisting diploma program. This program can be completed in as little as 38 weeks. It includes clinical experience via an externship in a dental office. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Complete a request for information form to connect with the Admissions Team at Arizona College of Allied Health and learn more. Start on the path to fulfilling your dream of becoming a dental assistant. Change lives. Choose Arizona College!