How to Become a Dental Assistant in West Virginia

How to Become a Dental Assistant in West Virginia

So you want to know how to become a dental assistant in West Virginia, right? Well, it can depend on what job title you would like: there is the dental assistant, dental assistant qualified in expanded functions, qualified monitor, and of course the nationally recognized certified dental assistant. Also, whereas other states have requirements to meet if you want to perform x-rays, West Virginia does not. That makes the process a little easier. With that said, here is how to become a dental assistant in West Virginia. We also explain the dental assistant salary figures here.

Dental Assistant Salary in West Virginia

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Dental Assistant

how to become a dental assistant in west virginiaThe first position you can take is the basic dental assistant, which allows you to perform basic supportive dental procedures stated under West Virginia’s dental laws and as long as they are done under the supervision of a licensed dentist. You can find the duties allowed here. There are no educational or formal training requirements that you have to meet, and oftentimes you can receive on the job training. Also, if you hold a permit to administer and monitor sedation or general anesthesia, you have to maintain BLS/CPR certification.

Dental Assistant Qualified in Expanded Functions

A dental assistant qualified in expanded functions can perform additional duties as long as the individual receives specific training for each function. Expanded functions include restorative and/or orthodontic expanded duties, visual monitoring of nitrous oxide analgesia units, and coronal polishing.

For restorative and/or orthodontic expanded duties, you must:

1. Complete a Board approved course and exam for each expanded duty, AND

2.  Have sufficient clinical experience under the observation of a dentist, who will attest to your competence in the specified function, AND

3. Apply to the West Virginia Board of Dentistry for a certificate

For visual monitoring of nitrous oxide analgesia units, you must:

1. Complete a Board approved course and exam in monitoring nitrous oxide, AND

2. Hold current CPR certification through either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, AND

3. Apply to the West Virginia Board of Dentistry for a certificate

For coronal polishing on children under age 21, you must:

1. Have at least 2 years/3,000 hours of clinical experience in a dental office, AND

2. Complete either the Board-approved restorative duties or orthodontic duties course, AND

3. Complete a Board-approved course in coronal polishing, AND

4. Complete required clinical experience under the observation of a supervising dentist, AND

5. Apply to the West Virginia Board of Dentistry for a certificate

Qualified Monitor

The position of qualified monitor allows you to monitor and perform sedation procedures but you have to meet a few requirements first. Prior to meeting any of these requirements, you will have to obtain a certificate in monitoring nitrous oxide, which is explained above. You will also need to be competent in the recognition and treatment of medical emergencies, monitoring vital signs, the operation of nitrous oxide, and the use of the sphygmomanometer and stethoscope. You will then have to meet the requirements below.

For relative analgesia/minimal sedation, you must:

1. Receive the necessary training, AND

2. Hold current BLS/CPR certification, AND

**A qualified monitor certificate is not required**

For anxiolysis/minimal sedation, you must:

1. Receive the necessary training, AND

2. Hold current BLS/CPR certification, AND

3. Apply to the West Virginia Board of Dentistry for a certificate

For conscious sedation/moderate sedation and general anesthesia/deep conscious sedation, you must:

1. Receive the necessary training, AND

2. Hold current BLS/CPR certification, AND

3. Complete an AAOMS or AAPD certification program or equivalent, AND

4. Apply to the West Virginia Board of Dentistry for a certificate

How to Become a Certified Dental Assistant in West Virginia

Of course you can always choose to become a certified dental assistant (CDA) as well, which is a nationally recognized position that allows you to make more as well as receive additional benefits. There are only a few steps you need to complete but there are plenty of benefits, so becoming certified is always recommended. In order to become certified you will need to:

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

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

3. Apply for and pass the DANB CDA exam

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Radiography Requirements

As we explained earlier, there are no radiography requirements in West Virginia. All dental assistants can legally perform radiographic procedures and operate dental x-ray equipment.

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