How to Become a Dental Assistant in Georgia

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Georgia

The job of a dental assistant is both interesting and challenging.

Their duties include meeting and greeting patients, as well as some other responsibilities that may be done by themselves or under direct supervision.

Also, when applying for a job dental assistants have to keep in mind what kind of education or training they might need to practice their job.

These requirements vary depending on the state.

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Dental Assistants in Georgia in Numbers

Statistics, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, read that there are more than 8,500 employed dental assistants in the state of Georgia.

These numbers put the state on the top of the overall employment rates of dental assistants in the United States.

There are two types of dental assistants recognized by the Georgia Board of Dentistry

They are – dental assistants performing basic duties, that can be easily reversed and are not harmful to patients, and EDDA (Expanded Duty Dental Assistants).

Dental assistants are allowed to perform the following actions, under the supervision of a dentist who has been licensed:

  • He or she has to be familiar with mouth hygiene
  • Sterilization of dental instruments
  • Secretarial work
  • Bookkeeping work

He or she is also allowed to do the following only in situations that can be reversed and can not harm the patient:

  • Making impressions
  • Topical anesthetic application
  • Dressings removal, etc.

To be allowed to perform expanded duties EDDAs must have completed a certain course.

The Georgia Board of Dentistry recognizes courses in radiation health and safety, general chairside and infection control.

The duties are as follows, but may include other:

  • Transferring of the face bow
  • Creation of impressions to repair damaged prosthesis
  • Application of topical ant cariogenic agents
  • Make impressions for passive orthodontic appliances
  • Application of bonding agents and primer to etched enamel or dentin
  • Intraoral fabrication of temporary bridges and crowns
  • Application of desensitizing agents to root surfaces of teeth
  • Redress and remove the dressing from alveolar sockets
  • Place substances such as base, varnish, or cavity liner, over unexposed pulp

What Education Does a Dental Assistant in Georgia Need?

To be a dental assistant performing basic duties is an easy task since there is no obligatory education.

However, a lot of individuals seek further education, since it puts them in front of the competition and it is preferred by employers.

When it comes to EDDAs, the situation is slightly different.

According to the Georgia Board of Dentistry, assistants in the dental office who want to perform expanded duties must meet some requirements.

They are the following:

  • Possess a high school diploma or an equivalent
  • Have a valid certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, known as CPR
  • Have an Expanded Duty certification

To enroll in the Expanded Duty Training course, approved by the Georgia Board of dentistry, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have a valid certification in CDA (Certified Dental Assistant)
  • Have experience as a chairside assistant under the direct supervision of a dentist who has been licensed – at least six months within the last three years
  • Be a graduate from a dental assisting program approved by the Board

The Expanded Duty Training Course can be completed through one of four organizations.

They are as follows:

  • A Dental School
  • A Dental Hygiene School
  • A Program in Dental Assisting that is accredited
  • A Professional Association that is approved by the Georgia Board of Dentistry

Once the course is done the student will have to complete an examination.

This exam is administered by a licensed dentist.

After successful completion of the examination, individuals will receive a certification in expanded duties.

What is CDA Certification?

The CDA, knows as a Certified Dental Assistant, is another form of certification considered as one of the basics in the dental field.

It is accredited by the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board) and consists of three component examinations.

They can be completed separately but must be done within five years.

The exams are as follows:

  • ICE (Infection Control)
  • RHS (Radiation Health and Safety)
  • GC (General Chairside)

Before applying to take the exam individuals must check if they meet the requirements.

To be eligible to take the CDA examination students must complete one of the following three options:

  • Graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) and possess a valid CPR certification from a provider approved from the DANB
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalents and a minimum of 3,500 hours of on the job practical experience, as well as a valid CPR certification
  • Hold a former CDA status from the DANB, or be a CODA-accredited program graduate, such as DDS and DMD, or be a dental degree program (from outside of the USA and Canada) graduate, as well as own a valid CPR certification

Having completed one of the following is a must.

After that individuals must complete and submit an application for the CDA exam, as well as pay a 375 USD fee.

A Test Admission Notice will arrive in the mail within three to four weeks after the application is submitted and received.

If there are any mistakes in it students must notify DANB as soon as possible.

The number to do that is – 1-800-367-3262.

If everything is alright, applicants have to follow the directions written on the Test Admission Notice and schedule an appointment to take the test, including saving the location, time and date with the testing vendor (Pearson VUE).

The exam must be taken within 60 days after applicants receive the notice.

There are six places throughout the state of Georgia, where individuals can take the exam.

The Pearson Professional Centers are located in the following six cities:

  • Albany, GA
  • Atlanta, GA (Stockbridge and North)
  • Augusta, GA
  • Macon, GA
  • Savannah, GA

If anything urgent comes up participants have the right to reschedule the appointment, but this must be done within 24 hours before the start of the examination.

The official results, as well as the certification, will be mailed by the DANB within three to four weeks.

The certification is valid for one year and has to be renewed after that.

EDDAs can further their education by competing for other Expanded Duty Training courses that are approved by the Georgia Board

Also, they have the right to complete 12 CDE (Continuing Dental Education) credits every year to renew their certification online.

Lastly, they can continue their education in dental hygiene.

How Much Does a Dental Assistant in Georgia Earn?

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary


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