How to Become a Dental Assistant in Michigan

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Michigan

Dental assistants are becoming more and more valued throughout the United States.

People who wish to work in the dental field and become dental assistants have a very important place in the dental practice.

Their responsibilities vary and there are a few things they should keep in mind when applying for this particular job.

First, and foremost, they need to follow the guidelines of the state they desire to work in.

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According to the Michigan Board of Dentistry, there are two types of dental assistants recognized in the state of Michigan.

These are the basic dental assistant and registered dental assistants.

How to Become a Basic Dental Assistant in Michigan

The job of a basic dental assistant is an entry-level one.

Although individuals are not required to complete specific training, some people prefer to pursue further education.

Employers prefer to hire more qualified candidates and tend to pay them more.

Basic dental assistants can perform basic and supportive dental procedures under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist.

Some of these procedures are listed below:

  • Application of topical anesthetics
  • Instruct patients on how to use dental appliances
  • Make impressions
  • Operate radiographic equipment
  • Place and remove orthodontic elastics
  • Place and remove orthodontic separators

How to Become a Registered Dental Assistant in Michigan

To become registered in the state of Michigan, dental assistants must complete an education, pass an exam and get a license.

Individuals must be graduates from a program in dental assisting that includes instruction in expanded function, and is approved by the Michigan Board of Dentistry.

The program has to be at least 20 hours long.

A dental assistant school offering such programs in Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Port Huron, Traverse City.

After that, the candidate has to send an application to the Michigan Board of Dentistry and take the RDA (Registered Dental Assistant) exam.

Individuals have to submit the listed below documents along with the application:

  • Fee for the application – 100 USD (money order or check)
  • Final transcripts have to be mailed to the Board from the school
  • A copy of a valid CPR certification
  • A director of the program should complete and send a Verification of Training and Competency in the Application and Removal of a Dental Dam form to the Board
  • Completed criminal background check

All applications have to be received no later than 45 days before the exam.

Everything should be mailed to:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs,

Bureau of Health Care Services,

Board of Dentistry,

P.O. Box 30670,

Lansing, MI 48909.

Candidates will receive an admission letter about 14 days before the examination.

The RDA exam consists of two sub-exams.

A clinical part that lasts two hours and includes amalgam restoration, as well as temporary crown skills.

And a written part with a duration of two hours.

Individuals must receive a 75% score or higher to pass the exam.

Official results will be mailed to applicants in a six-to-eight-week period.

National Certification Options for Dental Assistants in Michigan

A lot of dental assistants prefer to pursue a national certification by the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board), such as the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant).

Individuals must hold a valid CPR certification by a provider approved by the DANB, as well as complete any of the following requirements:

  • Be a graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation)
  • Have a GED or high school diploma, as well as 3.500 hours of practical working experience in a dental office
  • Have a former CDA certification from the DANB, or completed DMA/DDS program accredited by the CODA, or a dental degree from another country

The CDA examination consists of 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 exam is administered in Pearson VUE centers in the following cities: Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Marquette, Southfield, Troy.

Although the results are received as soon as the exam has ended, the official ones are mailed within a month.

Dental assistants who desire to operate dental x-ray and radiography equipment have to be familiar with the requirements to do so.

A course in dental radiography must be completed.

The course has to be an equivalent to a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA.

When applying for the RDA license, candidates have to verify the course in dental radiography.

The registration of dental assistants in the state of Michigan is valid for three years.

During these three years, registered dental assistants have to earn at least 36 hours of continuing education in programs or courses approved by the Board.

Also, 12 of those 36 hours have to be directly related to clinical issues.

Every RDA should keep a documentation record of his/her continuing education.

The records have to be maintained for at least four years.

Although the records are not mandatory when applying for license renewal, it is good to have them maintained, in case they are needed for the renewal (candidates will be notified, if they need to send them).

Registered dental assistants must have valid CPR certifications.

The CDA certification must be renewed every year.

CDAs have to earn at least 12 hours of continuing dental education credits directly relating to the practice of dental assisting.

How Much Does a Dental Assistant in Michigan Earn?

According to a statistic from the 1st of September, 2018, the average salary of a dental assistant in the state of Michigan is about 35.375 USD.

Salaries in the states typically range between 31.397 and 39.113 USD.

The amount of the earnings of every individual practicing as a dental assistant in the state depends on a few factors, such as his or her location (city), education, training, certification, practical working experience, license, and competency.

Usually, employers pay higher salaries to employees who have some sort of education or training.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Detroit, MI $37,427
Grand Rapids, MI $35,641
Warren, MI $37,427
Sterling Heights, MI $37,310
Ann Arbor, MI $38,342
Lansing, MI $35,765
Flint, MI $33,785
Dearborn, MI $37,427
Livonia, MI $37,310
Westland, MI $37,738

Regional Salary in Michigan

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Ann Arbor, MI590$44,960$21.62$55,070$30,930
Battle Creek, MI110$40,340$19.39$49,410$33,170
Bay City, MI80$39,420$18.95$44,920$29,010
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI5,540$41,580$19.99$52,470$30,320
Flint, MI430$41,320$19.86$48,030$28,260
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI1,340$43,820$21.07$49,270$35,120
Jackson, MI150$42,180$20.28$49,740$29,590
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI330$43,320$20.83$54,210$34,270
Lansing-East Lansing, MI480$42,490$20.43$54,490$31,350
Midland, MI110$41,440$19.93$48,070$30,380
Monroe, MI100$40,120$19.29$48,730$29,050
Muskegon, MI140$40,050$19.25$46,180$29,450
Niles-Benton Harbor, MI120$42,100$20.24$45,920$35,740
Saginaw, MI220$41,010$19.72$46,350$35,210
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Dental Assistants, OCC Code 31-9091, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Schools Offering Dental Assisting Programs in Michigan

School Name Address
Dental Assistant School Grand Rapids 6123 South Harvey Street Norton Shores, MI 49444
Delta College 1961 Delta Road, University Center, Michigan 48710
Dorsey College-Dearborn 18660 Ford Rd, Detroit, Michigan 48228
Dorsey School of Business-Roseville 31450 Gratiot Avenue, Roseville, Michigan 48066
Grand Rapids Community College 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503-3295
Lake Michigan College 2755 East Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022-1899
Mott Community College 1401 E Court St, Flint, Michigan 48503-2089
Northwestern Michigan College 1701 E Front St, Traverse City, Michigan 49686
Ross College-Grand Rapids North 1624 Woodworth NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525-2473
Ross Medical Education Center-Ann Arbor 4741 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108-1411
Dental Assistant School of Detroit 18800 W 10 Mile Rd Southfield, MI 48075
Dental Careers of Michigan 28437 Greenfield Rd, Southfield, MI 48076
Michigan Dental Assisting School 32905 W 12 Mile Rd #240A, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Peaks Dental Assisting School 240 Grand Blanc Rd, Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Hands-On Dental Assistant School 20840 Vernier Rd. Suite: 2 Harper woods, MI 48225
Ross Medical Education Center 4528 Breton Rd SE, Kentwood, MI 49508,
Ross Medical Education Center 4106 W Saginaw Hwy, Lansing, MI 48917
Dental Assisting Institute of Michigan 5705 W, Vernor Hwy Suite # 2, Detroit, MI 48209
Ross Medical Education Center 44958 Ford Rd, Canton, MI 48187,
Ross Medical Education Center 4237 Twelve Mile Rd, Warren, MI 48092
Ross Medical Education Center G, 3630 Miller Rd d, Flint, MI 48503,
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One Comment
  1. Avatar for Janice Bulkowski Janice Bulkowski

    I am interested in free dental assisting program

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