How to Become a Dental Assistant in Massachusetts

How to Become a Dental Assistant in Massachusetts

So you want to learn how to become a dental assistant in Massachusetts, but the requirements will vary depending on what position you would like. There is the on-the-job trained dental assistant, formally trained dental assistant, expanded function dental assistant, and last but not least the nationally recognized certified dental assistant. There are also some radiography requirements you will have to complete if you wish to operate dental x-ray equipment and perform radiography procedures. Well then, let’s continue on how to become a dental assistant in Massachusetts, as well as learn how much the dental assistant salary in Massachusetts is.

Dental Assistant Salary in Massachusetts

On the Job Trained Dental Assistant

There are no education or formal training requirements to complete to become an on the job trained dental assistant. As you can guess by the job title, you will receive training on the job, and allowed to perform any functions that are listed under Massachusetts dental practice laws. You can find the allowed duties here.

Formally Trained Dental Assistant

how to become a dental assistant in MassachusettsNow as you can guess with the job title, whereas an on the job trained dental assistant receives training on the job, a formally trained dental assistant has gone through a formal education or training program. In order to qualify for this position, you must:

1. Complete a CODA accredited dental assisting program or a dental assisting program that is either recognized by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or the Massachusetts Department of Education

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Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA)

An expanded function dental assistant (EFDA) is allowed to perform additional functions, but must first meet the following requirements:

1. Complete a CODA accredited dental assisting program, AND

2. Have current DANB CDA certification (see below), AND

3. Complete an expanded functions program from a CODA accredited program

How to Become a Certified Dental Assistant in Massachusetts

A certified dental assistant (CDA) in Massachusetts has the potential to earn more as well as receive extra benefits. This nationally recognized position has a few requirements to meet, which includes:

1. Complete a CODA accredited dental assisting program OR have at least 2 years/3,500 hours of dental assisting experience, AND

2. Obtain CPR certification from a DANB accepted provider, AND

3. Apply for and pass the DANB certified dental assistant (CDA) exam

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Radiography Requirements

In order to legally operate dental x-ray equipment and perform radiography procedures, you must meet a few requirements, which will vary depending on whether you are performing radiography procedures under the direct supervision or general supervision of a licensed dentist. The requirements are as follows:

Under the direct supervision of a dentist, you must:

1a. Be an on the job trained dental assistant, AND

1b. Complete a course in radiologic techniques and safeguards, AND

1c. Pass the DANB RHS or Board approved exam within one year of course completion


2a. Be a Formally Trained Dental Assistant, AND

2b. Complete a course in radiologic techniques and safeguards

Under the general supervision of a dentist, you must:

1a. Be a current DANB certified dental assistant (CDA), OR

1b. Be an expanded function dental assistant


2. Complete a course in radiologic techniques and safeguards

Dental Assisting Schools in Massachusetts

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