Dental assistants are an important part of every dental practice.
They have a lot of different responsibilities including office or laboratory duties, meeting and greeting patients, as well as some more specific tasks.
To know what duties they are allowed to perform, dental assistants must check the regulations of the state they wish to work in.
There are two types of dental assistants in Mississippi – basic dental assistants and authorized to operate radiographic equipment.
Article Table of Contents
How to Become a Basic Dental Assistant in Mississippi
Basic dental assistants are not required to complete specific training or obtain licensures and certificates.
Their job is an entry-level one and they can perform basic and supportive dental assisting duties but only under the supervision of a dentist who has been licensed.
According to the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners, if dental assistants want to take dental radiographs and operate x-ray equipment, they must complete the required training and education.
A lot of assistants in the dental field prefer to undergo such training and education.
Employers seek more qualified individuals and tend to pay them more.
Basic dental assistants must have a valid CPR certification and renew it every year.
How to Become Authorized to Operate Radiographic Equipment
Dental assistants who want to become authorized to operate radiographic equipment must meet specific criteria.
According to the Mississippi Board of Dental Examiners, assistants in the dental field have to gain a radiographic permit.
Dental assistants must meet one of the requirements listed below:
- Be a graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) (completed within 12 months of applying for the radiographic permit)
- Be a graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA (completed more than 12 months from applying for the radiographic permit), along with sworn statements written by previous employers stating that the individual administered dental x-rays
- Completed a radiology seminar approved by the Board and take the exam within 90 days of applying for the permit
- Be a graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA
- Be eligible for taking the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) by the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board)
- Have a former CDA credential, or a former completed dental assisting program accredited by the CODA, or a dental degree from another country
Dental assisting programs accredited by the CODA can be found in Raymond, Meridian, and Hattiesburg.
Individuals can visit radiology seminars a few times a year in Booneville, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Horn Lake, Jackson, Meridian, and Pascagoula.
To take the CDA exam candidates must have a GED or high school diploma, as well as 3.500 hours of proven practical work 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 Jackson and Tupelo in Mississippi.
Other centers nearby the state can be found in Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Decatur, AL; Memphis, TN; Metairie, LA; Montgomery, AL.
After all of the listed above criteria are met dental assistants will be eligible to complete the Application for Mississippi Radiology Permit.
Candidates have to send the listed below along with the application:
- Passport-sized photo (colored)
- An official transcript for a completed dental assisting program
- A sworn statement from previous employers stating that the dental assistant has/has not administered radiographs
- Copy of the CDA by the DANB certification card
- Copy of a certificate of completion of a radiology seminar approved by the Mississippi Board
- A paid fee of 60 USD (money order or check)
All of the listed above should be mailed to:
Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners,
Suite 100, 600 East Amite Street,
Jackson, MS 39201-2801.
Here are the institutions offering radiology seminars approved by the Mississippi Board:
- Accelerated Dental Assisting Academy – Moss Point, MS Campus
- Antonelli College – Hattiesburg, MS Campus
- Antonelli College – Jackson, MS Campus
- Concorde Career College
- Delta Technical College – Horn Lake, MS Campus
- Delta Technical College – Ridgeland, MS Campus
- Hinds Community College (Nursing/Allied Health Center)
- Louisiana State University
- Meridian Community College
- Northeast Mississippi Community College
Renewal of Certifications and Permits in Mississippi
The CDA credential should be renewed every two years.
Certified dental assistants have to complete at least 12 CDEs (continuing dental education credits) so that they can renew their credentials.
However, the DANB recommends that CDAs complete more than 12 CDEs a year.
For the CDE to count for credit, it should be relevant to the dental assisting practice.
CDAs may complete CDEs such as:
- Dental related exams, including DANB examinations
- Clinical Practice
- Dental Office Management
- Voluntary service/Scholarly activity
CDE may be earned online.
All of the programs must have at least 45 minutes of duration to count for CDE credit.
When it comes to Clinical Practice, it can’t be more than 12 CDEs for two years.
Also, the dental-related exams and the DANB examination can account for 12 CDEs at maximum for two years.
For Dental Office Management, it is a maximum of 3 CDEs in two years.
It is the same for the scholarly activity and the volunteer service.
The radiographic permit for assistants in the dental field in Mississippi has to be renewed every two years.
The renewal can be done online and the fee is payable online, as well.
Continuing education is not required for the renewal of the radiographic permit.
Every dental assistant in the state of Mississippi is required to have a valid CPR certification.
How Much Does a Dental Assistant in Mississippi Earn?
According to a statistic from the 1st of September, 2018, the average salary of a dental assistant in the state of Mississippi is about 32.244 USD.
Salaries range between 28.618 and 35.651 USD depending on the location.
The amount of the salary depends on the qualification, education, certifications and special skills of the assistant.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|Olive Branch, MS||$34,420|
|Horn Lake, MS||$34,488|
Schools Offering Dental Assisting Programs in Mississippi
|Hinds Community College||505 East Main Street, Raymond, Mississippi 39154|
|Delta Technical College||6550 D Interstate Blvd., Horn Lake, Mississippi 38637|
|Meridian Community College||910 Hwy 19 N, Meridian, Mississippi 39307-5801|
|Pearl River Community College||101 Hwy 11 N, Poplarville, Mississippi 39470|
|Concorde Career College - Southaven||7900 Airways Blvd #103, Southaven, MS 38671|
|Arch Dental Academy||209 Lameuse St, Biloxi, MS 39530|
|Coastal Medical Training Institute LLC||12100 US 49 N Suite # 736, Gulfport, MS 39503|
|Blue Cliff College Gulfport, MS||12251 Bernard Pkwy, Gulfport, MS 39503|
|Institute of Health and Technology Jackson||4200 Mamie St, Hattiesburg, MS 39402|
|Perkins Dental||212 Oxford Road New Albany, MS 38652|
|Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College||51 Main Street Perkinston, MS 39573|
Read the full guide: How to Become a Dental Assistant