How to Become a Dental Assistant in New Jersey

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in New Jersey

Back in 2011, dental assistants were some of the most “in-demand professionals” according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

To work as a dental assistant, a person needs a license from the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry who regulates dentistry and its related professions.

Dental Assistant Schools

To get a license, the individual needs to complete a training program that was recognized by the Commission on Dental Assisting Accreditation (CODA), which recognizes all such programs across the nation.

These programs are generally certification courses that last almost 1 year, and they include both the theory and practice hours needed for an entry-level professional.

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The curriculum of such a program includes:

  • Chair-side assistance
  • Handling dental emergencies
  • Identifying structures of the oral cavity
  • Preventative dentistry

Dental assistants may pursue an associate’s degree in dental hygiene which allows them to perform certain tasks without being supervised by a dentist.

These assistants can also pursue an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in medical administration or even business administration, allowing them to occupy a supervisory position in the dental office.

School Name Address
Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School 2 Meridian Rd, Eatontown, NJ 07724,
American Institute 346 Lexington Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011
American Institute 80 Cottontail Lane, Suite 103 Somerset, NJ 08873
American Institute 2363 Lakewood Road Toms River, NJ 08755
Camden County College 200 College Drive, Blackwood, New Jersey 08012
Central Career School of New Jersey 126 Corporate Blvd, South Plainfield, NJ 07080
Fortis Institute 201 Willowbrook Blvd, Wayne, NJ 07470
Fortis Institute 2572 Brunswick Pike, Suite 100, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Ocean County Vocational-Technical School 137 Bey Lea Rd, Toms River, New Jersey 08753-2703
Raritan Valley Community College 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, New Jersey 08876
Destiney Dental Assisting Program 9 Furler St. Totowa, NJ 07512
GS Dental Academy 420 Morris Ave, Springfield, NJ 0708
Quality Dental School of Technology, Inc. 134 Evergreen Place , Suite - 601 East Orange, New Jersey 07017
OceanPointe Dental Academy Elizabeth, NJ Campus 324 Morris Ave Elizabeth, NJ 07208
True Dental Assistant School 255 Brunswick St Suite 6 Jersey City, NJ 07302
DENTAL STUDIES INSTITUTE 7 Spielman Road • Fairfield, NJ 07004
Institute of Advanced Dental Education 317 Route 34, Suite 205 Colts Neck , NJ 07722
Lincoln Tech in Iselin, NJ 675 U.S. 1 South 2nd Floor Iselin, NJ 08830
Branford Institute ELIZABETH CAMPUS 333 North Broad Street, Elizabeth NJ 07208.
Branford Institute PATERSON CAMPUS 302 Main Street Paterson NJ 07505.
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Becoming a Registered Dental Assistant in New Jersey

Those who want to become a registered dental assistant in New Jersey need to pass the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination or the Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA).

They also need to meet at least one of the following requirement:

  • complete an accredited educational dental assisting program within the last 10 years;
  • have at least 2 years of work experience as a dental assistant within the last 5 years, complete a program approved by the Board and pass an exam;
  • have 2 years of work experience in the field, in the last 5 years, and pass the New Jersey Expanded Functions exam

Additionally, candidates need to fill out an application and to:

  • Pass the New Jersey jurisprudence examination
  • Pass a Criminal History Background Check.
  • Include the application fee of $35, payable to the State of New Jersey
  • Include one passport-size photograph

All the documents must be signed and sealed by a public notary and mailed to:

New Jersey Board of Dentistry
P.O. Box 45005
124 Halsey Street
Newark, NJ 07101

Taking the Exams

Depending on the desired career path, there are several examinations available for dental assistants.

DANB Certification Exam

Individuals who completed the dental assistant program accredited by CODA need to pass one of these exams if they want a New Jersey license.

1.The Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam that has 3 separate tests:

  • General Chairside Assisting
  • Infection Control
  • Radiation Health and Safety

2. The Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) exam that has two separate tests:

  • Orthodontic Assisting
  • Infection Control

Both these credentials must be renewed annually, after completing at least 30 continuing education credits.

New Jersey Expanded Functions Exam

Some dental assistants qualify for registration through experience.

These candidates must pass the New Jersey Expanded Functions exam administered by DANB.

This exam covers these skills:

  • Isolating the operative field
  • Operating matrices and wedges
  • Taking impressions
  • Placing temporary restoration
  • Preparing coronal surfaces for bonding and restoration
  • Removing excess cement
  • Removing sutures
  • Fabricating and cementing temporary crowns and bridges
  • Etching in preparation for sealants and bonding
  • Performing hand removal of crowns and bridges
  • Placing amalgam, composite, or gold foil in a tooth
  • Placing and removing retraction cords
  • Placing and removing periodontal dressings
  • Application of fluoride, pit and fissure sealants and other topical agents

Becoming an X-Ray Equipment Operator

Those operating the X-ray equipment need a license issued by the New Jersey Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners

This certification shows the holder can legally operate dental X-ray machines and perform various related operations.

To get the DRT license in New Jersey, candidates must:

  • Pass the DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam; OR
  • Have a current CDA credential and complete a Board-approved dental radiography course; AND
  • Graduate a New Jersey State-approved dental radiography course or its equivalent

The candidates need to send their licensure applications to the State of New Jersey Bureau of X-Ray Compliance.

Salary Information

It’s clear that there are several career paths a dental assistant can choose, which will impact their income, along with the time they spend in the field.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Newark $43,056
Jersey City $45,620
Paterson $43,471
Elizabeth $43,056
Lakewood $42,942
Edison $42,302
Woodbridge $42,302
Toms River $42,316
Clifton $43,471
Trenton $42,604

Regional Salary in New Jersey

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ190$45,900$22.07$58,640$33,220
Ocean City, NJ60$45,830$22.04$59,270$29,120
Trenton, NJ390$46,060$22.14$58,880$31,010
Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ120$43,150$20.75$56,250$32,150
* 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.

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