Being a dental assistant is not an easy job, but is a fulfilling one.
The duties of a dental assistant are various and include, but are not limited to greeting patients and keeping their information confidential, keeping the dental office clean and sanitized, and performing some expanded duties, that may require additional certification.
Article Table of Contents
Dental Assistants in Delaware in Numbers.
According to a statistic offered by the Delaware Department of Labor, there were 843 dental assistants in the state in 2012.
It is believed that the number of assistants in the dental field will grow in the upcoming years.
The Delaware Board of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene is the one who sets up rules regarding dental assisting.
It is their responsibility to protect patients from unprofessional and unsafe dental practices.
According to the Board, the dentist has the power to decide what kind of work will a dental assistant in his or her practice does.
The dentist in charge is also responsible for the proper training of his stuff.
Radiography, however, requires additional education and examination.
Education and Certification for a Dental Assistant in Delaware
Although, to get licensed is not a must in the state of Delaware, a lot of individuals decide to pursue a certification or some kind of education to gain more skills and knowledge and stand out from the crowd of competitors.
Employers also prefer candidates with some kind of degree or certification, as well as practical experience.
The CODA accredits numerous dental programs nationwide.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any CODA-accredited programs in Delaware.
However, there are 6 in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and 1 in Maryland.
Not only that, but some programs are offered online, which is convenient for individuals in the state who can’t travel.
CODA-approved programs are with a duration of less than a year.
Some of them are offered at community or junior colleges, as well as technical, vocational, and dental schools.
Some individuals prefer to change their career path and pursue a degree in dental hygiene, instead.
Dental hygienists must gain a degree and a license to execute their duties.
Dental assistants and dental hygienists are working together in a dental office, but the latter can perform expanded duties, such as teeth cleanings, without direct supervision.
Requirements Regarding Radiography
Dental assistants in the state of Delaware can’t operate an x-ray without having the proper education.
They must meet the following criteria:
- Pass the RHS (Radiation Health and Safety) exam, offered by the DANB; or
The DDRT (Delaware Dental Radiologic Technology) Exam was an examination, also administered by the DANB. However, after 2015 individuals must take the RHS examination.
Both exams consist of the same content, listed below:
- Evaluate and expose
- Conventional film processing
- Label and mount
- Radiation safety regarding patients
- Radiation safety regarding operators
After successful completion of the RHS, individuals must apply to the Delaware ORC (Office of Radiation Control).
After receiving the application, the ORC will issue a certificate with the profession dental radiation technician.
Certifications for Dental Assistants in Delaware
Dental assistants often choose to further their careers with national certification.
The DANB is accrediting certifications and offers the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant), as well as other credentials, including:
- Certified Orthodontic Assistant
- Certified Restorative Function Dental Assistant
- Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant
The most desired credential is the CDA and it can be achieved after the successful completion of its three component examinations.
It includes the following:
- RHS (Radiation Health and Safety)
- GC (General Chairside Assisting)
- ICE (Infection Control)
All of the CODA approved examinations may be done on different dates, but they all have to be completed in 5 years.
Other certifications offered by the DANB include from two to four component exams.
All of the DANB-accredited certifications must be renewed annually.
All of the information regarding these programs can be found on the official websites of the DANB and the Dale Foundation.
The Dale Foundation is an official affiliate of the DANB and offers a variety of courses, including:
- Radiation Health and Safety
- Infection Control
- General Chairside
- Anatomy, Morphology, and Physiology
- Coronal Polish
- Expanded Functions
- Orthodontic Assisting
- Dental Office Management
Dos and Don’ts for a Dental Assistant
Dental Assistants in the state of Delaware are allowed to perform the following duties, under the supervision of a licensed dentist:
- Placing of rubber dam
- Take impressions
- Placing of cotton rolls
- Removal of excess cement
- Removal of temporary medicinal pack or fillings
- Other duties assigned from a licensed dentist
- Demonstrate home-care procedures for patients
Dental assistants in Delaware are not allowed to do the following:
- Diagnose patients
- Plan treatment
- Cutting of hard tissue
- Cutting of soft tissue
- Fabricating a restoration or application
- Duties of dental hygienists
Resources regarding dental assisting in Delaware can be found on the official websites of the Delaware State Dental Society, Delaware Dental Hygienists Association and the American Dental Assistants Association.
The Delaware State Dental Society offers a membership but publishes public resources as well.
It also holds DSDS events and is helpful in the search of a dentist in the state.
The Delaware Dental Hygienists Associations’ website consists mainly of information about the dental hygiene field, but resources about dental assistants are also available.
The American Dental Assistants Association have also a membership.
It is useful regarding education, as it offers information about online courses, as well as fellowship and mastership programs.
There is also information regarding dental assisting.
How Much Does a Dental Assistant in Delaware Earn?
Salaries in the state of Delaware
Salaries in Delaware average above 38,000 USD, per year.
Highest salaries were earned in Rehoboth Beach, with numbers above 39,000 USD, per year.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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