How to Become a Dental Assistant in Oregon

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Oregon

Oregon doesn’t have state-wide requirements for dental assistants, however, these professionals usually choose to undergo some training to be able to perform more tasks and functions.

Employers prefer at least one of these certifications:

  • Radiology Proficiency Certification
  • Expanded Function General Dental Assistant Certification
  • Restorative Functions Certification
  • Expanded Function Orthodontic Dental Assistant Certification
  • Anesthesia Dental Assistant Certification

The following agencies can issue these certifications:

  • Oregon Board of Dentistry
  • American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and its California associate
  • Dental Assisting National Board

The more certifications the individual has, the higher their salary will be.

Annual Salary Range:
$33K
$37K
$41K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Portland$39,407
Salem$38,038
Eugene$36,956
Gresham$39,356
Hillsboro$39,281
Beaverton$39,407
Bend$36,443
Medford$35,323
Springfield$36,684
Corvallis$37,152

Basic Dental Assistant Requirements

Basic dental assistants in Oregon must work only under the supervision and offer support to the work performed by a dentist, dental hygienist or technician.

As a basic dental assistant, the person can perform the following duties:

  • Infection control
  • Instrument preparation
  • Scheduling appointments for the patients
  • Dental practice record and supply maintenance
  • Post-treatment care
  • Instruction of patients on the proper methods of oral hygiene

X-ray Proficiency Certification

Dental assistants holding this certification can:

  • Place x-ray films
  • Prepare the machines to expose x-ray film
  • Expose x-ray film

There are two ways in which this certification can be obtained.

1. Through the Oregon Board of Dentistry with one of the following:

  • By having an X-Ray Certification from another state
  • By accumulating at least 1,000 hours of recent experience conducting duties in a different state that are similar to those allowed for by the Radiologic Proficiency Certification

2. Through the Dental Assisting National Board after meeting these requirements:

  • Complete a course of study that is approved by the Dental Assisting National Board, or
  • Complete a dental assistant training program in Oregon or out-of-state
    • The program must be approved by the American Dental Association
  • Pass the Radiation Health and Safety Exam, sponsored by the National Board
  • Successfully mount and develop a minimum of 18 full-mouth x-rays while being supervised by a licensed professional

Expanded Function General Dental Assistant Certification

Holders of this certification can perform the following activities:

  • Coronal polishing
  • Polish composite surfaces or amalgam with a slow-speed hand-piece
  • Remove temporary crowns
  • Prepare teeth for final cementing
  • Preliminary fit crowns
  • Place temporary restorative materials into teeth
  • Place and remove matrix retainers
  • Perform teeth whitening procedures

There are two ways to obtain this certification, as explained below.

1. Through the Board, with one of the following:

  • Having a similar certification from another state
  • Accumulating a minimum of 1,000 hours of recent experience conducting similar duties on a similar position, in a different state

2. Through the National Board and having a current X-ray Proficiency Certificate from the Oregon Board of Dentistry.

Additionally, one of the following two pathways are also required:

  • Pathway 1:
    • Complete a dental assistant program that is approved by the American Dental Association
    • Apply for the Expanded Function General Certification
  • Pathway 2:
    • Pass either the Certified Dental Assistant Exam or Basic Exam
    • Pass the Expanded Function Dental Assistant Exam
    • Apply for the Expanded Function General Certification
    • Complete a proficiency certification administered by a licensed Oregon dentist

Anesthesia Dental Assistant Certification

Dental assistants with this diploma can perform these tasks:

  • Administer medication to a sedated patient, into an existing intravenous (IV) line
  • Administer emergency medication to a patient, while helping a licensed professional in a situation
  • Dispense oral medication that has been prepared by a supervising dentist

Holders of an Anesthesia Certification may also initiate an IV line for patients if they have completed a course in intravenous access or phlebotomy that has been approved by the Oregon Board of Dentistry.

To obtain this certification the following requirements have to be met:

  • Earn the Health Care Provider Basic Life Support (BLS) or CPR certification
  • Complete one of the following:
    • An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Anesthesia Assistants Program
    • The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Anesthesia Assistants Course

A final application is to be submitted to the Board of Oregon.

Restorative Functions Certification

Holders of this certification can prepare a tooth for and then place and finish direct alloy or direct composite.

For this certification candidates must meet the following requirements and then apply for it through the Oregon Board of Dentistry:

  • Have another Expanded Function General Dental Assistant Certification
  • Complete a course at an Oregon Board of Dentistry-approved school
  • Pass the Restorative Exam or another equivalent test that is approved by the Board within the past five years
School NameAddress
Blue Mountain Community College2411 NW Carden Ave, Pendleton, Oregon 97801
Chemeketa Community College4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, Oregon 97305
Clackamas Community College19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, Oregon 97045-8980
Lane Community College4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene, Oregon 97405-0640
Linn-Benton Community College6500 Pacific Blvd SW, Albany, Oregon 97321
Portland Community College12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97219-7132
Umpqua Community College1140 College Rd., Roseburg, Oregon 97470-0226

Applying for Advanced Certifications

Individuals who want to apply for an advanced dental assistant certification through the Board in Oregon need to fill out an application, provide the appropriate documents and pay the fee correct fee.

The fees are:

  • Application for Radiologic Proficiency Certification – $75
  • Application for Expanded Function – General – $50
  • Application for Expanded Function – Orthodontic – $50
  • Application for Anesthesia Dental Assistant Certification – $50
  • Application for Restorative Function Dental Assistant Certification – $50

Those who want to apply for a specialized certification through the National Board or the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons will find the correct application forms on the sites of those institutions.

USA Dental Assisting by State


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