How to Become a Dental Assistant in Kentucky

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Kentucky

The job of a dental assistant is not an easy one.

They are responsible for various tasks in a dental office.

Their responsibilities may vary from meeting and greeting patients, to helping the dentist in charge.

To know what they are allowed to do, dental assistants have to check the regulations in the state they want to work.

Dental Assistants in Kentucky in Numbers

According to a statistic, there were 4.160 dental assistants in the state for the year 2013.

This is a ratio of 2.33 assistants for every one thousand residents.

It is expected that the dental assistants’ jobs will grow at a percentage of 2.5 by 2020, resulting in 190 job openings.

Types of Dental Assistants in Kentucky

The sole body overseeing the regulations regarding the dental profession is the Kentucky Board of Dentistry.

There are two job positions in the state of Kentucky that are recognized by the Board – auxiliary and registered dental assistants.

They are distinguished from one another by the training and education required for each position.

The job of an auxiliary dental assistant is somewhat of an entry-level one.

It doesn’t require special professional training or education since individuals can perform only basic dental assistant duties.

Some of the tasks that an auxiliary dental assistant is allowed to do under the supervision of a dentist who has been licensed are:

  • Examine the oral cavity
  • Expose radiographs
  • Topical anesthetic application
  • Preliminary impressions model placement
  • Remove cement from coronal surfaces
  • Take vital signs

To become registered dental assistants, individuals have to complete an education approved by the Board in coronal polishing, IV placement or radiography.

Some of the tasks registered dental assistants are allowed to do are:

  • Application of bases and cavity liners
  • Topical anesthetic application
  • Place, pack and remove retraction cord
  • Remove sutures
  • Fluoride
  • Hold and remove final impressions
  • Application of sealants
  • Nitrous oxide monitoring
  • Expose radiographs
  • Coronal polishing
  • Placement of IV access line

Also, dental assistants who are registered can perform other tasks under the direct supervision of a dentist who has been licensed and who has a valid permit for sedation.

How to Become a Dental Assistant in Kentucky

A lot of dental practices offer training, and this is why auxiliary dental assistants are not required to complete training beforehand.

However, most dentists prefer individuals who have completed some kind of education and/or training and tend to pay them more.

Dental assistants in the state who desire to become registered can’t do that on their own.

They must be employed in a dental practice and the dentist in charge has to list the name of the candidate in the Online Dental License Renewal form.

To become registered dental assistants, individuals must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a valid CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) certification according to the AHA (American Heart Association) standards.
  • Complete a course approved by the Board in Radiation Safety, Starting Intravenous Access Lines, Radiation Techniques and/or Coronal Polishing

After the requirements are met and the candidate is eligible to become a registered dental assistant, his/her employer has to do the following:

  • Register the individual on the Online Application for Renewal of Licensure
  • Keep a personnel file for the registered dental assistant with the needed documentation, such as a valid CPR certification, approved by the Board courses’ certificates, and a statement of competency of the tasks delegated to the assistant by the dentist

Educational and Training Programs for Dental Assistants in Kentucky

Dental assistants desire to pursue further education to gain more edge against the competition in the field.

Programs accredited by the CODA or approved by the Kentucky Board are preferred.

The CODA accredits two programs in the state of Kentucky and they offer the following courses:

  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Sciences
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • Infection Control & Medical Emergencies
  • Materials in Dentistry
  • Oral Pathology
  • Oral Radiology
  • Preventive Dentistry

After completing the programs candidates are eligible for certificates in Radiation Health and Safety, Coronal Polishing and/or Expanded Functions.

National Certification Options for Dental Assistants in Kentucky

National certification is a great opportunity for every dental assistant.

It shows the potential employer that the dental assistant is dedicated to his/her career.

DANB certification is an option for dental assistants to meet the requirements for radiography.

To do that, individuals have to complete the RHS (Radiation Health and Safety exam).

The exam is part of the most desired exam – the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant).

Of course, dental assistants have the right to choose if they wish to take the whole exam or any of its stand-alone tests.

The full CDA exam has a fee of 375 USD and consists of three sub-exams:

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

If the candidate decides to take the exams separately he or she has to pay stand-alone fees for each of them.

GC costs 200 USD, while RHS is 175 USD, and ICE is also 175 USD.

To take the full CDA exam, individuals have to check if they are eligible.

After that, they need to submit an application and pay a fee.

Lastly, they must schedule a date, time and location for the examination

The CDA exam is held at Pearson VUE centers in Louisville and Lexington.

Specific Dental Assistant Functions Requirements

To perform procedures regarding radiography, dental assistants must meet any of the following requirements:

  • Complete a CODA-accredited course in Radiation Safety
  • Complete six hours of approved by the Kentucky Board course in Radiation Safety, as well as four hours of instruction in dental radiography technique in a dental practice under the supervision of a licensed dentists
  • Pass the DANB RHS exam
  • Complete an approved by the Kentucky Board course in radiography technique

To be eligible to place IV access lines, individuals have to work under a licensed dentist’ direct supervision who has a valid permit in anesthesia or sedation, as well as:

  • Have a certification for a completed course (approved by the Board) in starting IV lines
  • Give the employer a copy of a certification

If a dental assistant wants to perform coronal polishing, he or she has to:

  • Have a certification of completing an eight hour accredited by the CODA course in Coronal Polishing
  • Give the employer a copy of a certification

How Much Does a Dental Assistant in Kentucky Earn

Annual Salary Range:
$32K
$34K
$35K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Louisville, KY$34,446
Bowling Green, KY$32,920
Owensboro, KY$34,161
Covington, KY$35,721
Richmond, KY$34,051
Hopkinsville, KY$32,876
Florence, KY$35,707
Georgetown, KY$34,380
Elizabethtown, KY$34,154

USA Dental Assisting by State


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