How to Become a Dental Assistant in Maine

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Maine

Dental assistants are an essential part of every dental practice.

They assist with different tasks depending on their competency and education.

Every state decides what regulations to set for individuals in the dental profession.

The sole body that is responsible for this task in the state of Maine is the MBDE (Maine Board of Dental Examiners).

According to the Maine Board, there are three different types of dental assistants recognized in the state.

These are the basic dental assistants, the EFDAs (Expanded Function Dental Assistants), and the dental assistants with certification from the DANB.

Basic Dental Assistants in Maine

Basic dental assistants in the state of Maine are allowed to perform basic and supportive dental procedures under the supervision of a dentist who has been licensed.

These procedures are described in Maine’s Dental Practice Act.

Dental assistants in Maine are not obligated to complete a training or an education to perform basic duties.

However, employers seek and prefer candidates with some form of education and/or practical experience or training in the dental field.

Also, more qualified individuals are getting higher salaries.

DANB certification for Dental Assistants in Maine

To become a CDA (Certified Dental Assistant), people must get a national certification through the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board).

The CDA is the most pursued certification because it is nationally recognized in every state.

Candidates have three options if they want to be qualified for the CDA:

  • Be a graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA (there is only one program in Maine and it is located in Bangor), and have a valid CPR certification (from a DANB-accepted provider)
  • Be a graduate from high school or have an equivalent diploma, have at least 3.500 hours of practical experience, as well as a valid CPR certification (from a DANB-accepted provider)
  • Have a past CDA from DANB, or be a graduate from a program accredited by the CODA, such as DME and DDS, or have a dental degree from outside the USA and Canada, as well as valid CPR certification (from a DANB-accepted provider)

If the candidate is eligible for the CDA, he or she has to take the exam.

First, individuals have to apply for the exam.

The CDA consists of three sub-exams, and the candidate has to take all three of them and pass them successfully:

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

For the GC examination candidates will have an hour and a half on their hands to complete the 120 multiple-choice questions.

For the ICE they will have an hour and fifteen minutes and 100 multiple-choice questions.

And for the RHS they will be given an hour and fifteen minutes, and again, 100 multiple-choice questions.

The CDA exams are held in places called Pearson VUE centers.

Such centers can be found in Westbrook and Bangor in the state of Maine, as well as in some neighboring states.

Pearson VUE centers not far away from Maine are located in Boston, MA; Concord, NH; and South Burlington, VT.

Candidates will receive their score on the same day they take the CDA exam.

However, the official results will be sent by the DANB, within four weeks.

Dental assistants are allowed to work as CDAs in Maine, as soon as the certification is earned.

Expanded Function Dental Assistants in Maine

Since EFDAs have more responsibilities in the dental office, the requirements for it are more.

To be eligible for the EFDA, candidates must be:

  • At least 18 years’ old
  • Have a valid CPR certification
  • Have a GED or a high school diploma
  • Graduate from a program that is accredited by the CODA and MBDE-approved, as well as have either a CDA or Registered Dental Hygienist license, OR have a credential as a dental assistant qualified in expanded function from another state or Canada, approved by the MBDE and a credential or three years of experience.

Candidates for the EFDA in the state of Maine have to take the MBDE jurisprudence exam and pass it successfully.

This exam is included in the MBDE EFDA Certification Application.

To apply for the EFDA, individuals have to do the things listed below:

  • Apply the MBDE
  • Pay an application fee of 80 USD to the MBDE (money order or check)
  • Pay an application fee of 80 USD to the MBDE (money order or check)
  • Certification showing that the candidate completed the EFDA program
  • Other valid certifications or licensed from another state
  • Passport-sized photograph (the photo must be affixed with the EFDA program’s seal and send to the MBDE)
  • Another passport-sized photo should be notarized and affixed to the application
  • Valid CPR certification
  • A criminal history background check (from every state the applicant has lived in during the past ten years)

Dental Radiographer Certification for Dental Assistants in Maine

Every dental assistant in the state of Maine must have a certification as a dental radiographer.

The certification allows individuals to operate x-ray machines and do radiographic procedures.

To meet the requirements, candidates must be:

  • At least 18 years’ old
  • Have a valid CPR certification
  • Have a GED or a high school diploma

Not only that, but individuals have to complete any of the following:

  • Successfully pass the RHS exam
  • Successfully pass the CDA exam
  • Complete a course in dental radiography that is accredited by the CODA and past a test in radiographic technique and safety

There is a jurisprudence exam that is part of the Radiography License Application and has to be taken.

Applicants must do the following:

  • Apply the MBDE
  • Pay an application and registration fee of 140 USD to the MBDE (money order or check)
  • Apply proof of successfully passed DANB exam or an official transcript of a completed approved dental radiography course
  • Copy of a valid CPR certification
  • Pay a fee for a criminal background check of 21 USD to the MBDE (money order or check)
  • Copy of a high school diploma that has been notarized
  • List of all the states that the applicant has lived in during the past 10 years

The address where candidates have to send their application is:

Maine Board of Dental Examiners,

143 State House Station, Augusta,

ME 04333-0143.

Dental radiographers in Maine have to renew their registration every five years.

The applicant must complete a course, exam or interview with the MBDE.

CPR certifications also have to be renewed whenever needed.

DANB certifications also have to be renewed every year.

Expanded Function Dental Assistant certification is also valid for five years and has to be renewed.

EFDAS must have at least 50 CDE hours, 40 of which is Category 1 CDE.

How Much Does a Dental Assistant Earn in Maine

Annual Salary Range:
$33K
$35K
$36K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Portland, ME$36,492
Lewiston, ME$36,127
Bangor, ME$33,382
Auburn, ME$36,127
Biddeford, ME$36,321
Saco, ME$36,419
Augusta, ME$34,572
Westbrook, ME$36,492
Waterville, ME$33,017

USA Dental Assisting by State


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