How to Become a Dental Assistant in Arkansas

How to Become a Dental Assistant in Arkansas

The process for becoming a dental assistant in Arkansas is fairly simple and there are also a few positions you can choose. There is the basic dental assistant, registered dental assistant, expanded functions dental assistant, and of course the nationally certified dental assistant. Becoming certified is the highest position you can get and also allows you to perform expanded functions. There are also some requirements you must meet if you want to operate X-ray equipment. Here’s how to become a dental assistant in Arkansas, with some details on dental assistant salary in the state as well.

Dental Assistant Salary in Arkansas

Basic Dental Assistant

In the state of Arkansas, a basic dental assistant can perform basic supportive dental procedures that are allowed in the state’s dental regulations. You can find out more about the general duties here and the awesome thing is that you don’t need any education or training requirements for this level of dental assisting. You can simply apply to offices that offer on the job training and you are set. That’s how to become a dental assistant in Arkansas. Easy isn’t it?

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

how to become a dental assistant in arkansas - expanded functionsThe next level of dental assistant is the registered dental assistant, which allows you to perform a few extra functions (except sedation monitoring). This position means that you are registered with a permit from the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners allowing you to do so and will require you to either hold CDA certification or complete a CODA accredited program.

To become a registered dental assistant you will need to:

1a. Hold a current national Certified Dental Assistant Certification

1b. Graduate from a CODA-accredited dental assistant program

2. Apply to the state’s Board of Dental Examiners for expanded functions.

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Expanded Functions Dental Assistant

If you aren’t certified by the DANB or didn’t complete a CODA accredited program but still want to perform expanded functions, that’s okay, you can still do them if you follow the instructions below. Expanded functions include coronal polishing, administering and monitoring nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia, and sedation monitoring. You will have to meet different requirements for each however.

For coronal polishing you must:

  1. Complete and show proof that you have completed a coronal polishing course approved by the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners and complete the state’s jurisprudence exam and show proof of current certification in Healthcare Provider-level CPR
  2. Apply to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners for coronal polishing

For nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia administration and monitoring you must:

  1. Complete a Board-approved nitrous oxide administration and monitoring course
  2. Send a copy of the certificate of completion to the Board
  3. Complete the state’s jurisprudence exam
  4. Show proof of current certification in Healthcare Provider-level CPR

For sedation monitoring you must:

  1. Hold a permit for nitrous oxide administration
  2. Show proof of current certification in Healthcare Provider-level CPR
  3. Either be a RDA or have current CDA certification
  4. Complete the AAOMS anesthesia program or a Board-approved equivalent course within two years of submitting an application for a sedation permit
  5. Complete the state’s jurisprudence exam
  6. Apply to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners for a sedation monitoring permit
How to Become a Certified Dental Assistant in Arkansas

Of course you could always become a certified dental assistant to gain national certification, expanded functions, and a higher salary. Certification should always be a consideration as it provides a ton of benefits and the process isn’t too difficult. What’s required is that you successfully complete a CODA accredited dental assisting program and the next step is to simply pass the DANB exam and you’re done! You can learn more about it here.

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Radiography Requirements

To be able to use X-ray equipment and perform radiography procedures in Arkansas you will need to meet a few requirements. You will need to become a Registered Dental Assistant in order to operate X-ray equipment and perform radiography in Arkansas. To do this you will need to:

1a. Hold a current CDA certification

1b. Complete a CODA accredited program

1c. Complete and send proof of completion of a Board-approved radiography course and complete the state’s jurisprudence exam and show proof of current certification in Healthcare Provider-level CPR

2. Apply to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners for a radiography permit