How to Become a Dental Assistant in Minnesota

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Minnesota

The job of a dental assistant is a challenging one.

They are a very important part of every dental practice.

The responsibilities of a dental assistant are different in every state.

That is why individuals have to check the state’s requirements before applying for a job.

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

These are basic dental assistants and LDAs (Licensed Dental Assistants).

The difference is that basic dental assistants are unlicensed, whereas LDAs need a license to be able to perform some specific procedures.

While the first can perform basic dental duties such as an application of fluoride, LDAs can take impressions and operate x-ray equipment.

How to Become a Basic Dental Assistant in Minnesota

Unlicensed or basic dental assistants are not required to undergo special training or pursue a specific education.

Their job is an entry-level one.

They can perform basic and supportive dental procedures, but only under the licensed dentist’s supervision.

Still, unlicensed dental assistants need to complete CPR training and gain certification in it.

They must also comply with the guidelines explained in the MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report).

How to Become a Licensed Dental Assistant in Minnesota

Although they are not required, most dental assistants prefer to become Licensed Dental Assistants.

Not only are they allowed to perform more duties, but employers seek more qualified candidates and tend to pay them more.

All LDAs must have a valid CPR certification.

When it comes to education, licensed dental assistants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation)
  • Graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA in another state, and complete coursework if wanted by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry
  • Graduate from a dental assisting program that is not accredited by the CODA, or does on-the-job training, as well as completes a course in Expanded Functions (approved by the Minnesota Board)

CODA-accredited dental assisting programs in the state of Minnesota can be found in Bemidji, Brainerd, Brooklyn Park, Canby, Cloud, Crystal, Eden Prairie, Hibbing, Minneapolis, Moorhead, North Mankato, Rochester, and Rosemount.

LDAs must also pass the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) Exam by the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board).

To be eligible to take the exam individuals have to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA
  • Have a former CDA certification, or former dental assisting program accredited by the CODA, or dental degree from another country
  • Have a GED or high school diploma and 3.500 hours of proven practical working experience

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 Bloomington, Brainerd, Brooklyn Park, Eagan, Hermantown, Rochester, and St Paul.

LDAs have to pass the Minnesota Licensure Exam if they want to become licensed.

The Minnesota Licensure Exam is administered in Prometric testing centers.

Such centers can be found in Bloomington, Duluth, and Woodbury.

Candidates have to register at the official site of Prometric.

The exam costs 75 USD.

There are 165 questions in the exam and individuals have two and a half hours to complete it.

Expanded Duties and Radiology are covered in the exam, so candidates should study those subjects.

As if the listed above is not enough, dental assistants have to take the Minnesota Jurisprudence exam, as well.

The Minnesota Licensure Exam is administered in Prometric testing centers.

Such centers can be found in Bloomington, Duluth, and Woodbury.

The exam costs 65 USD.

Candidates have to register at the official site of Prometric.

There are 100 questions in the exam and candidates have one and a half hours on their hands to complete it.

The questions are taken from the Minnesota Dental Practice Act and the Center for Disease Control Guidelines.

The subjects covered in the exam are:

  • Delegation of Duties
  • General Duties
  • Infection Controls
  • Personal Conduct and Ethical Behavior
  • Record Keeping

After all of the listed above is done, candidates can apply for licensure at the Application by Exam to Practice Dental Assisting through the Minnesota Board of Dentistry.

Dental assistants have to send the listed below along with the application:

  • A fee of 96.50 USD for the application fee, initial fee and Office of Enterprise Technology licensing surcharge (money order or check)
  • Passport-sized photo
  • Copy of a valid CPR or BLS certification
  • Notarized proof of passing the DANB CDA exam, graduation, Minnesota Licensure Exam, and Minnesota Jurisprudence Exam

The application and the additional certification should be mailed to:

Minnesota Board of Dentistry,

2829 University Ave SE, Suite 450,

Minneapolis, MN 55414.

Dental Assistant Licensure in Minnesota

The CDA certification has to be renewed every year and candidates must have 12 continuing dental education credits.

The LDA licensure expires every two years and applicants can renew it online.

To do so, they must have at least 25 credit hours of continuing dental education.

15 of the CDEs have to be at the fundamental level, and 10 at elective.

For the fundamental level candidates can earn CDE through home study, internet, lectures, advanced education, and college studies.

The elective CDEs include self-study, volunteering, convention or presenting at a GE course.

Not acceptable CEs include:

  • Personal Growth and Health
  • Estate Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Marketing
  • Investments

Also, candidates must complete at least two courses in different core subjects, such as:

  • Ethics
  • Infection Control
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Managing Medical Emergencies
  • Patient Communications
  • Record Keeping

Basic dental assistants must keep their CPR certifications valid.

LDAs also should keep their CPR certification valid to maintain their LDA licensure in the state of Minnesota.

Also, candidates have to maintain the CDE documentation for at least 24 months after every renewal.

How Much Does a Dental Assistant Earn in Minnesota

Annual Salary Range:
$31K
$35K
$38K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Minneapolis, MN $38,903
Rochester, MN $35,305
Duluth, MN $34,574
Woodstock, MN $31,466
Eden Prairie, MN $38,837
Lakeville, MN $38,662
Minnetonka, MN $38,903
Shakopee, MN $38,750
Owatonna, MN $34,976
Burnsville, MN $38,793
Andover, MN $38,706

Schools Offering Dental Assisting Programs in Minnesota

School Name Address
Hibbing Community College-A Technical and Community College 1515 E 25th St, Hibbing, Minnesota 55746
Minnesota State Community and Technical College 1414 College Way, Fergus Falls, Minnesota 56537-1000
Minnesota West Community and Technical College 1593 11th Ave, Granite Falls, Minnesota 56241
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 1300 145th Street East, Rosemount, Minnesota 55068-2999
Hennepin Technical College 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 55445
Minneapolis Community and Technical College 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403-1779
Century College 3300 Century Ave N, White Bear Lake, Minnesota 55110
Rochester Community and Technical College 851 30th Ave SE, Rochester, Minnesota 55904-4999
St Cloud Technical and Community College 1540 Northway Drive, Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56303-1240
Herzing University Minneapolis Campus 435 Ford Road St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Lake Superior College 2101 Trinity Road Duluth, MN 55811
Northwest Technical College 905 Grant Avenue SE, Bemidji, MN 56601-4907
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry 515 Delaware St. SE Minneapolis, MN 55455
South Central College - N. Mankato Campus 1920 Lee Boulevard North Mankato, MN 56003
South Central College - Faribault Campus 1225 Third Street SW Faribault, MN 55021
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