How to Become a Dental Assistant in New Mexico

How to Become a Dental Assistant in New Mexico

So you want to learn how to become a dental assistant in New Mexico right? Well there are several positions you can choose from, which includes dental assistant, dental assistant with state certification in expanded functions, expanded function dental auxiliary, community dental health coordinator, and the nationally recognized certified dental assistant. There are also radiography requirements to meet if you want to operate dental x-ray equipment and perform radiography requirements. With that said, here’s how to become a dental assistant in New Mexico. We also show data on the dental assistant salary of the state.

Dental Assistant Salary in New Mexico

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Dental Assistant

how to become a dental assistant in new mexicoThere are no education or training requirements to become a dental assistant in New Mexico. You will often receive on the job training, which is sufficient. As a dental assistant you will be able to perform any basic supportive dental procedure that is listed under New Mexico’s dental regulations. You can find the allowed duties here. You can find more information at the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care.

Dental Assistant with State Certification in Expanded Functions

To perform expanded functions you must obtain state certification from the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care for each function. Expanded functions includes pit and fissure sealants as well as coronal polishing and application of topical fluoride.

For pit and fissure sealants, you must:

1. Have 2,080 hours of chairside dental assisting experience in the two years prior to application, AND

2. Study through means of a training course or independent preparation in the function. You will then assist in and observe twelve cases of pit and fissure sealant application on children or adults, AND

3. Pass the DANB Sealants (SE) exam, AND

4. Apply to the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care for state certification in pit and fissure application, AND

5. Complete the New Mexico Jurisprudence exam, AND

6. Complete a clinical exam, which includes performing application of pit and fissure sealants five times under the supervision of a licensed dentist or dental hygienist.

For coronal polishing and topical fluoride application, you must:

1. Study through means of a training course or independent preparation in the function. You will then assist in and observe five cases of rubber cup coronal polishing on children or adults and five applications of topical fluoride on children, AND

2. Complete the DANB Coronal Polishing (CP) exam and DANB Topical Fluoride (TF) exam, AND

3. Apply to the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care for state certification in coronal polishing and topical fluoride application, AND

4. Complete the New Mexico Jurisprudence exam, AND

5. Complete a clinical exam, which includes performing both coronal polishing and topical fluoride application five times under the supervision of a licensed dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant certified in both functions.

** Passing the DANB CDA exam automatically qualifies you to apply for state certification in both expanded functions** 

Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary 

To become an expanded function dental auxiliary you must obtain certification from the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care. To qualify, you must:

1a. Complete an EFDA course from a Board approved or CODA accredited dental assisting program, OR

1b. Earn state certification in radiography, coronal polishing and topical fluoride application, and pit and fissure sealant application (see above), OR

1c. Complete a course of study in subject areas that meets the Board’s guidelines, and includes a post test, AND

2. Complete a Board approved clinical exam for EFDA certification, AND

3. Complete the New Mexico Jurisprudence exam with a score of at least 75%, AND

4. Apply for an apprenticeship permit from the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care, AND

5. Complete a 180 day apprenticeship, AND

6. Return permit and signed affidavit to the NMBDHC for an EFDA certificate

Community Dental Health Coordinators

Community dental health coordinators can perform specified restorative, palliative, and preventative procedures under the supervision of a licensed dentist. To qualify, you must:

1. Complete high school or its equivalent (e.g. GED), AND

2. Earn state certification in radiography, coronal polishing and topical fluoride application, and pit and fissure sealant application (see above), AND

3. Complete the New Mexico Jurisprudence exam with a score of at least 75%, AND

4. Complete a Board approved CDHC program

How to Become a Certified Dental Assistant in New Mexico

Yo can also become a certified dental assistant (CDA), which allows you to earn a higher salary as well as receive extra benefits. In order to become certified, you must:

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

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

3. Apply for and pass the national DANB CDA exam

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Radiography Requirements

In order to legally operate dental x-ray equipment and perform radiography procedures, you must be certified. To qualify requires the following:

1. Study by means of a training course or independent preparation on radiation health and safety within the past 3 years, AND

2. Assist in or observe 5 cases of full mouth intraoral radiographs (or five extraoral radiographs, if applying for limited certificate), AND

3a. Complete a written radiation health and safety exam administered by the NMBDHC, OR

3b. Complete the DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, AND

4. Apply to the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care for a six month training permit, AND

5. Complete a radiography clinical exam within 6 months of passing either of the written exams listed above, AND

6. Complete the New Mexico Jurisprudence exam, AND

7.  Apply to the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care for a radiography certificate

Dental Assisting Schools in New Mexico

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