Allied Health Resources

Registered Dental Assistants & Extended Functions

For licensing information for Registered Dental Assistants and Registered Dental Assistants in Extended Functions, use the following link:  

 dbc.ca.gov/licensees/rda/renewals.shtml

Registered Dental Hygienists

For licensing information for Registered Dental Hygienists and Registered Dental Hygienists in Extended Functions, use the following link: 

cdha.org


New Dental Assisting Duties and Standards in 2010 (obtained from the California Dental Association)

A revised dental assisting structure and many new duties for all categories of dental assistants took effect January 1, 2010. 

The adjustments made to dental assisting include updated procedures and new technologies and allow dentists to fully utilize their dental assistants in today’s dental practices. Further, the new structure creates a meaningful career ladder for dental assistants, promotes retention in the profession, and increases the capacity of general and specialty practices and clinics to provide oral health care.

For all categories of dental assistants, dentists retain the authority to determine which new duties their staff members can perform and on which patients they are performed. The level of required supervision is determined by statute for the unlicensed dental assistant (DA) and the Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions (RDAEF). For Registered Dental Assistants (RDA), the dentist employer/supervisor determines on an individual basis what allowable procedures may be completed under general supervision and which must be completed under direct supervision.

Unlicensed dental assistants (DA) hired on or after January 1, 2010 are now required to complete – one time only – a 2-hour California Dental Practice Act course and an 8-hour Infection Control Course.  Additionally, dental assistants will be required to keep current certification in basic life support.

In 2010, dentist employers will be responsible for ensuring any unlicensed dental assistant hired on or after January 1, 2010, and employed beyond 120 days, provide evidence of course completion for the following two courses within 12 months of the date of hire.  These courses are required one-time only and dental assistants who have completed these courses should keep evidence of completion in their files for all future employers’ records. 

  • The 2-hour California Dental Practice Act (CDPA) course is the existing 2-hour course that can be accessed in many ways, including on the CDA website.
  • The 8-hour Infection Control for Dental Assistants course is a newly designed course, specifically for unlicensed dental assistants. A list of approved course providers is available on the Dental Board website.  For a partial list of approved course providers, compiled by CDA staff for your convenience, please click here.
    • CDA developed a toolkit for dentists who wish to become providers of the 8-hour Infection Control for Dental Assistants course. You can purchase the kit or contact Mary Sobieralski at mary.sobieralski@cda.org or 916.554.4979 for more information.

New Dental Assistant Duties: Several new duties are now allowable for unlicensed dental assistants (DAs), at the discretion and direction of the supervising dentist. Click here for more information.

New RDA Duties: Several new duties are also now allowable for registered dental assistants (RDAs), at the discretion and direction of the supervising dentist.  Click here for more information.

New RDAEF Duties: Likewise, registered dental assistants in extended functions (RDAEFs), at the dentist’s discretion and under his/her direct supervision, have additional duties to assist in the provision of dental care in dental offices and clinics. An RDAEF who wishes to become an RDAEF 2, as they are known, must complete additional education and pass a Dental Board approved examination.  Click here for more information.

New “Add-on” Specialty Permits (Orthodontic and Dental Sedation): Two new “add-on” permits are available to all categories of dental assistants in 2010. The Orthodontic Assistant Permit (OAP) allows duties specific to orthodontic practices, while the Dental Sedation Assistant Permit (DSAP) allows duties specific to assisting in the dentist’s administration of sedation to a patient and in the monitoring of patients under sedation.  Click here for more information

Several training programs and approved providers are currently available with more expected in the months to come. A list of approved course providers can be viewed here. It is important to note that many of the providers only offer courses to their students or staff.

Teaching Methodology Course:  AB 2637 requires anyone who teaches the permit courses or the other required courses, such as pit and fissure sealants or infection control, to complete a 2-hour clinical teaching methodology course. CDA has developed a 2-hour teaching methodology course, which is now available. 

Detailed Duties and Education Requirements (all categories): A complete summary of all new duties and requirements as of January 1, 2010 can be accessed here.

Additional questions can be directed to the CDA Public Policy division at 916.554.4984.

 

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