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Requirements to Become a Registered Dental Assistant in Arizona

by Alia Nikolakopulos

Arizona offers two separate certifications to dental assistants that require licensing or registration from the Board of Dental Examiners: radiography and coronal polishing. Certification in radiography allows assistants to perform X-rays and operate X-ray equipment, while certification in coronal polishing allows assistants to polish teeth surfaces. While dental assistants don't need both certifications, the Dental Assisting National Board states Arizona dental assistants must hold an active certification in radiology. Still, an Arizona dental assistant may choose to hold both certifications to enhance his value within the workplace.

Dental Assistant Radiology Certification

Apply to take the radiation health safety exam with DANB. There are no educational requirements to take this exam. As of 2013, the exam fee was $175. You must include this fee with your application, available on the danb.org website under the “State Exam Applications” menu. Mail your application to: DANB 444 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 900 Chicago, IL 60611

Take the exam. Within four weeks from the date you submit your application and fee, DANB will provide instructions for scheduling your exam. Arizona offers testing locations in Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson and Chandler.

Complete your state application for certification. After you pass the RHS test, you may submit the application for dental assistant radiography certification by credential to the state board. This application is available on the azdentalboard.us website under the “Forms and Applications” menu. Applications must be notarized.

Complete a citizenship form. This form is also available on the azdentalboard.us website in the "Forms" menu.

Mail your application and citizenship statement form to the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners at: Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners 4205 N. 7th Ave, Suite 300 Phoenix, AZ 85013

Dental Assistant Coronal Polishing Certification

Complete supervised clinical skills assessment. Under the supervision of a licensed dentist, coronal polishing certification candidates must demonstrate the ability to polish teeth, evaluate fulcrum placement, position and use rubber cups to remove stains and explain coronal polishing procedures to patients. Candidates must observe these procedures in one patient with permanent dentition and one patient with mixed or primary dentition. Following observation, a candidate must adequately perform these procedures in at least two patients with permanent dentition and two patients with either mixed or primary dentition. Dentition refers to stages of tooth development. Permanent dentition consists of all permanent, adult teeth, primary dentition consists of baby or milk teeth and mixed dentition is a combination of baby and adult teeth.

Complete Form A of the application to take DANB's coronal polish exam for Arizona residents. This application is available on the danb.org website under the “State Exam Applications” menu.

Complete Form B of the coronal polish exam application. Form B is an affidavit signed by the licensed dentist who oversees the applicant’s clinical skills.

Submit application forms A and B with your fee to DANB. As of 2013, the fee for the coronal polish exam was $215. Mail your application to: DANB 444 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 900 Chicago, IL 60611

Schedule and take your exam. DANB will give you scheduling instructions after it processes your application.

Receive certificate from DANB. Upon successful completion of your exam, DANB will send you your certificate. You don't need to file additional applications with the state. Arizona officially authorizes DANB to administer coronal polish certifications for Arizona dental assistants.

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