How to Become a Dental Assistant in Washington, D.C.

Search Dental Assistant Programs

Get information on Dental Assistant programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Ad

How to Become a Dental Assistant in Washington, D.C.

Dental assistants are people who have a very special place in a dental office.

Not only do they meet and greet patients, but they have to maintain their privacy as well.

Their duties vary depending on the state they work in.

Dental Assistants in Washington, D.C. in Numbers

According to a statistic shared by the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services, from May 2013, 520 dental assistants were working in the city of Washington.

Penn Foster
Featured Program

Earn your accredited, affordable Dental Assistant career diploma online with Penn Foster in as little as 4 months!

Request Information
SPONSORED
Search Dental Assistant Programs

Get information on Dental Assistant programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Ad

The overall number of assistants in the dental field in the Washington-Arlington area was 6,170.

It is expected this number to grow with a percentage of 19.3 until the year 2022.

In the District of Columbia, the practice of dental hygiene, dentistry, and dental assisting is regulated by the D.C. Board of Dentistry.

The Board is the one that administers exams, set up standards, evaluate qualifications and follow up on procedures.

There are two professional levels that the Board recognizes – Level I Dental Assistant and Level II Dental Assistant.

To become a Level I Dental Assistant you need to do the following:

  • To have graduated high school or have a GED
  • Complete a D.C. Board-approved course in dental radiography
  • Submit an application for registration as a Level I Dental Assistant to the Board.

However, there are no education-wise requirements for the Level I Dental Assistant in Washington, DC.

To become a Level II Dental Assistant you need to do the following:

  • To have graduated high school or have a GED
  • Complete a D.C. Board-approved course in dental radiography
  • Submit an application for registration as a Level II Dental Assistant to the Board.

Difference Between Level I and Level II Dental Assistant

The difference between the two lies within their responsibilities as dental assistants.

Level I Dental Assistants can do the following under the supervision of a licensed dentist:

  • Matrices placement
  • Take impressions
  • Whitening
  • Aspirate and rinse the oral cavity
  • Periodontal dressing’s placement
  • Application of topical anesthesia
  • Retraction of cheek, lips, cheek, flaps, and tongue
  • Removal of sutures
  • Construction of athletic mouthguards
  • Removal of temporary restorations
  • Construction of athletic mouthguards
  • Application of medicinal agents to a tooth
  • Do an intraoral photography
  • Placement of a retraction cord

Level II Dental Assistants can do the following under the supervision of a licensed dentist:

  • Perform all of the Level I Dental Assistant duties
  • Application of topical fluoride
  • Placement or removal of matrix bands
  • Preparation and fitting of stainless steel crowns
  • Placement or removal of rubber dams
  • Removal of temporary restorations
  • Preparation of temporary crowns
  • Removal of excess cement
  • Placement or removal of periodontal dressings
  • Fabrication of indirect restorations

What Education Do Dental Assistants in Washington, D.C. Need?

Any education in the dental field is welcomed when it comes to dental assistants.

Completion of a program accredited by the Board is the best choice for every dental assistant looking for a job in the District of Columbia.

Such a program is a step in the right direction in becoming a Level II dental assistant.

The latter grants individuals possibilities for more job options and higher salaries.

The CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) accredits programs in the District.

However, a completed program that is accredited by the CODA is not a must for dental assisting who desire to become Level II, dental assistants.

Fortunately, completion of such a program is a plus, since individuals won’t need the D.C. Board of Dentistry to approve it on their side.

Usually, programs for dental assistants that last less than a year, end with a certificate.

They give individuals the skills and practice needed in the day-to-day tasks in a dental office.

These programs are offered by community colleges, dental schools, technical schools, vocational schools.

Some of them may be structured as associate degree programs and typically last for around two years.

According to reports shared by the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services about 25 percent of all assistants in the District have a high school diploma.

Another 50 percent of them own an academic certificate.

And the other 25 percent possess an associate’s degree.

Certifications for Dental Assistants in Washington, D.C.

Of course, every program in the field of dental assisting is welcomed, but some individuals want to further their education by obtaining certification.

National certifications are offered by the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board.

DANB-approved certifications are a great thing to achieve because they meet the requirements for Level II dental assistant.

They also meet the requirements for radiographic training certification for Level I and Level II.

All of the DANB-accredited programs consist of 2 or 4 component exams.

These examinations include the following components:

  • CDA (Certified Dental Assistant)
  • COA (Certified Orthodontic Assistant)
  • CRFDA (Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant)
  • CPFDA (Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant)

How to Apply for Dental Assistant Registration in Washington, D.C.?

First, you must meet the training and educational requirements to become either Level I, or Level II dental assistant in Washington, D.C.

After that, individuals must apply for a registration and can do that here – https://dchealth.dc.gov/.

To complete their registration, dental assistants have to submit some documents with their application.

These documents are:

  • Two photographs – passport-size (2×2)
  • Documents related to any kind of name changes such as marriage certificates and divorce decrees (if applicable)
  • The official copy of a high school diploma/GED
  • Certificate of a completed radiation course
  • A copy of a photo ID (government-issued)
  • Copy of a current basic CPR or first aid certification
  • Certificate of a completed dental assistant program (if applicable)
  • DANB examination scores (if applicable)
  • Character references
  • $190 registration and application (made payable to the D.C. Treasurer)

Each applicant will undergo a criminal background check.

To do that, he or she must call 1-877-783-4187 and schedule an appointment to get her or himself fingerprinted.

Since the D.C. Board of Dentistry meets every third Wednesday of each month, they will review all of the received applications.

If the application is approved, individuals will receive a registration to be dental assistants in Washington, D.C.

Application with all of the necessary documents must be sent to the following address:

Department of Health

Health Professional Licensing Administration

Board of Dentistry – Processing Center

899 North Capitol Street

Washington, D.C. 20002

It is important to know that all of the registrations will expire on the 31st of December of odd-numbered years.

Individuals will receive a notice about the upcoming renewal about three months before the registration expires.

Every dental assistant that has been registered in the District of Columbia must complete a questionnaire and submit their information to get their registration renewed.

How Much Does a Dental Assistant in Washington, D.C. Earn?

Annual Salary Range:
$40K
$40K
$40K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Washington,DC$40,554

USA Dental Assisting by State


One Comment
  1. Avatar for Veronica Veronica

    Hello this is a office manager in the DC area looking for interns to come to our office! Please call me for more information! Thanks veronica 202-774-0379

Leave a Comment

Find a Program
×
Search Dental Assistant Programs

Get information on Dental Assistant programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Ad