How to Become a Dental Assistant in Maryland

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Maryland

Dental assistants are a vital part of every dental practice.

They are the core of every practice.

Their responsibilities are different in every state, so it is important for individuals to find what they can or cannot do in the state they are living in.

The sole body regulating standards for dental assistants in Maryland is the MSBDE (Maryland State Board of Examiners).

The MSBDE recognizes three types of dental assistants in the state of Maryland: basic dental assistants, dental assistants qualified in general duties, and dental assistants qualified in orthodontics.

Basic Dental Assistants in Maryland

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

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The job of a basic dental assistant is an entry-level one, and individuals are not obligated to complete a training or education, as long as they don’t work in a sealant program.

If they do work in a sealant program, they must meet the requirements listed below:

  • Have 400 hours of clinical practice as dental assistants caring for dental patients
  • Have a valid CPR certification from the American Red Cross or an American Heart Association Life Support for Health Care Providers
  • Complete a six hours’ infection control course with OSHA protocol, approved by the MSBDE
  • Have a written agreement with the dentist in charge of all of the terms and conditions under which the dental assistant work

Dental Assistants Qualified in General Duties in Maryland

There are two pathways before dental assistant qualified in general duties in Maryland.

To obtain a registration, candidates must complete a 35-hour training program approved by the MSBDE

Successfully pass the MDG (Maryland General Dental Assisting Expanded Functions Exam).

The exam has a duration of 90 minutes and consists of 125 questions (multiple-choice).

Another way to obtain registration is by completing any of the following:

  • Be a graduate of a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA (such program can be found in Hagerstown)
  • Be a high school graduate with at least 3.500 hours of practical experience
  • Have a former CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) by the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board), or be a graduate from accredited by the CODA DMD or DDS program, or hold a dental degree from another country

Also, after completing any of the listed above, candidates must pass the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) exam.

The exam altogether consists of 320 multiple-choice questions.

It features three sub-exams:

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

The GC exam is 90 minutes long and consists of 120 multiple-choice questions.

The ICE one is 75 minutes long and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.

The RHS is also 75 minutes long and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.

The DANB will send the official result within four weeks.

Candidates have to apply for a certification to become dental assistants qualified in general duties.

Also, they must send a passport-sized photo that has been notarized and proof of education.

The application must be submitted to the MSBDE:

Spring Grove Hospital Center,

Benjamin Rush Building,

55 Wade Avenue/Tulip Drive, Catonsville,

MD 21228.

Dental Assistants Qualified in Orthodontics in Maryland

There are two pathways before dental assistants who wish to become qualified in orthodontics.

Pathway 1

Candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a 35-hour training program approved by the MSBDE
  • Successfully pass the MDO (Maryland Orthodontics Expanded Function) exam (it consists of 100 questions and has a duration of 75 minutes).

Pathway 2

Candidates must meet the examination and education requirements.

When it comes to education, individuals must meet any of the listed below requirements:

  • Complete a course in orthodontic assisting, accredited by the CODA, as well as have a valid CR certification.
  • Have at least 3.500 hours of practical experience, as well as valid CDA/RDH/RDA certification
  • Be a high school graduate with at least 3.500 hours of practical experience
  • Have a former DNB COA, or be a graduate from a program accredited by the CODA, such as DMD or DDS, or have a dental degree from another country

When it comes to examination candidates must take the COA (Certified Orthodontic Assistant) exam and pass it successfully.

The exam consists of two parts:

  • ICE (Infection Control) – with a duration of an hour and fifteen minutes and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions
  • Orthodontic Assisting – with a duration of two hours and forty-five minutes, and consists of 210 multiple-choice questions

The DANB will send the official results within four weeks.

Candidates can apply for certification to the MSDBE.

They need to attach a proof of education and a passport-sized photo that has been notarized.

The application has to be mailed to the following address:

Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners,

Spring Grove Hospital Center, Benjamin Rush Building,

55 Wade Avenue/Tulip Drive, Catonsville,

MD 21228.

Radiography Requirements for Dental Assistants in Maryland

To become a dental assistant in Maryland, individuals have to get a certification in radiography.

The certification is needed so that the dental assistant can legally operate an x-ray and perform radiographic procedures.

Individuals must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma.

They must meet all of the examination and education requirements.

To get a certification, a dental radiography course (at least 24 hours) approved by the MSBDE must be completed.

Schools, where candidates can enroll for dental radiology, are located in Arnold, Baltimore, Bethesda, Bel Air, College Park, Columbia, Cumberland, Easton, Edgewater, Essex, La Plata, Largo, Hagerstown, Towson, Salisbury, and Westminster.

After successful completion of the course, individuals are required to pass either the CDA exam or the RHS one.

Basic dental assistants are obliged to take only the RHS.

Dental assistants qualified in orthodontics or general duties have to complete the full CDA exam.

The exams are administered at Pearson VUE centers in Baltimore, Bethesda, Columbia, and Salisbury.

Certifications for dental assistants in Maryland have to be maintained.

The dental radiation technologist certification is valid for two years.

After that, it has to be renewed.

The COA and CDA credentials are valid a year.

How Much Does a Dental Assistant in Maryland Earn

Annual Salary Range:
$37K
$39K
$40K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Baltimore, MD$37,551
Columbia, MD$37,490
Germantown, MD$39,446
Silver Spring, MD$40,361
Waldorf, MD$40,521
Ellicott City, MD$37,527
Glen Burnie, MD$37,551
Frederick, MD$39,216
Gaithersburg, MD$40,521
Rockville, MD$40,582

USA Dental Assisting by State


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