How to Become a Dental Assistant in Utah

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Utah

In Utah, the regulations related dental assistants cover the activities these professionals cannot do.

Some of these activities are:

  • Perform definitive treatments
  • Perform final cementation
  • Make diagnoses
  • Attempt to correct the malocclusion or malposition of teeth
  • Finish, carve, condense, polish, or place restorative materials
  • Extract teeth
  • Cut hard or soft tissue
  • Make adjustments that will result in teeth moving upon appliances
  • Perform sub-gingival modification with instrumentation
  • Make decisions regarding prescribing, administrating, or dosing drugs

On the other hand, they can perform the following duties:

  • Coronary polish
  • Remove accretions, stains, bonded materials, or deposits
  • Use nitrous oxide on patients, while being supervised by a dentist
  • Take oral impressions

Becoming a Dental Assistant

The main requirement for dental assistants in Utah is to first obtain a CPR certification or Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification.

Those who need to work with x-ray equipment need to attend a special training program or pass an exam.

However, those who want to access better-paid jobs should consider enrolling in a training program.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Salt Lake City$35,896
West Jordan$35,765
Saint George$38,585
South Jordan$35,732

The programs need to be accredited by CODA and they last almost a year or a minimum of 1200 hours.

The subjects cover:

  • Financial operations for dental assistants
  • Dental office administrative procedures
  • Law and ethics in the dental field
  • Terminology
  • Dental assisting clinical procedures and lab
  • Overview of dental assisting
  • Anatomy and physiology for dental assistants
  • Dental radiology
  • Therapeutic communications for dental assistants and health professionals

At the end of the program, certification or diploma is issued.

Some institutions also offer programs lasting for 2 years that result in an associate’s degree.

Taking X-Rays Permission

To be able to take X-rays dental assistants need to meet one of the following requirements:

1. Complete a CODA-accredited dental assisting program

2. Score a passing score on the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) Exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The exam covers:

  • Exposure and evaluation
  • Convention film processing
  • Labeling and mounting
  • Radiation safety for patients, operators, and other staff

3. Complete a course or pass an exam that is approved by the Utah Dentist and Dental Hygienist Licensing Board.

The topics must cover:

  • Radiation technology and terminology
  • Radiographic dental pathology and anatomy
  • Radiation physics
  • Radiation Protection for the operator and patient
  • Radiation biology
  • Factors that influence the response of cells and tissue to ionizing radiation
  • Cumulative effects of x-rays
  • Radiographic techniques
  • Dental radiology infection control
  • Proper disposal of chemicals and other processing techniques
School NameAddress
Bridgerland Applied Technology College1301 North 600 West, Logan, Utah 84321
Fortis College3949 S 700 E Ste 150, Salt Lake City, Utah 84107
Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College200 N Washington Blvd, Ogden, Utah 84404-4089

Additional Dental Assistant Qualifications

Dental assistants in Utah can earn any of the following certifications, in the specified ways:

  • Dental assistant certification through a nationally-recognized association
  • Certificate of completion from a dental assistant training program

The Dental Assistant National Board (DANB) is the largest association for dental assistants, though others do exist.

DANB is the best route to obtain permission to process X-rays.

This association also sponsors other certifications with national recognition:

  • Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
  • Certified Orthodontic Assistant (CDO)
  • Certified Preventative Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA)
  • Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA)
  • Coronal Polish (CP)
  • Sealants Exam (SE)
  • Infection Control Exam (ICE)
  • General Chairside (GC)
  • Orthodontic Assisting (OA)

USA Dental Assisting by State

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