How to Become an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant

What does it mean to be an expanded functions dental assistant? In short, it allows you to do more types of work. Many DAs go on to pursue expanded functions because it allows them to do more tasks and duties around the office. Look at it as advancing in your career, you will be able to do new types of work and make more. But how exactly do you become an expanded functions dental assistant? Although the tasks and job title can differ from state to state, most of the time the process will be quite similar.

How to Become an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant

You might be thinking that an expanded functions dental assistant is the same everywhere in the United States but you’d be wrong. It’s true that almost every state has some sort of position that allows for expanded functions, but job titles can differ quite a bit. For example, job titles can include expanded duties dental assistant, qualified dental assistant, registered dental assistant with expanded functions, or licensed dental assistant. There are over 41 different job titles for dental assistants in the United States so it’s not as simple as saying they are all the same job!

expanded_functions_dental_assistantBut what also differs from state to state is what tasks and duties you will be able perform. It’s not the same all across the board, you might be able to perform a specific task in one state but you wouldn’t be able to in another. For example, a basic dental assistant in Colorado would be able to apply topical anesthetic, but in Massachusetts only an expanded functions dental assistant can do so. That’s because the tasks you are allowed to perform will be different in each state’s dental regulations. So it’s up to you to find out what the position is called in your state and also what tasks you will be able to perform.

The best way you can find your state’s expanded functions dental assistant requirements is to check out the Dental Assisting National Board (or DANB for short). You will be able to find everything you need to know there, including requirements, job titles, and duties allowed. But to make things easier we’ve provided a map that will link you to the DANB and will provide each state’s requirements. Good luck!

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Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Requirements By State


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