How to Become a Dental Assistant in Washington

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Washington

In Washington, dental assistants must be registered according to the Washington State Department of Health.

Read on to learn more about a career in this field and what the requirements are.

Job Duties

A dental assistant must be supervised by an accredited dentist at any point.

The state also recognizes expanded function dental auxiliary (EFDA) dental assistants, in addition to traditional dental assistants.

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Some of the job duties include administering nitrous oxide and teeth whitening procedures.

Dental Assisting Programs

While only an AIDS/HIV course is required by law, pursuing other certifications will help you get more job responsibilities and a better salary.

If you finish a CODA accredited program, you can work with sealant/fluoride varnish, and you will also be able to become an EFDA in this state.

The programs are usually available in trade schools and last from 9 to 11 months.

DANB National License

Besides finishing a CODA-accredited course, you can also pursue a Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) certification.

There are 3 exams required to get this certification:

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

You can also pursue other certifications, including:

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

All these certifications need a yearly renewal and 30 hours of extra education.

School NameAddress
Bates Technical College1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, Washington 98405
Clover Park Technical College4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, Washington 98499-4004
Dental Assisting School of Berkshire College3555 McKinley Ave, Tacoma, WA 98404,
Dental Assistant Training Center5701 NE Bothell Way #2, Kenmore, WA 98028,
Institute of Advanced Dental Assisting (IADA)4337 15th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108
Lake Washington Institute of Technology11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, Washington 98034-8506
Northshore Dental Assisting Academy, LLC6610 NE 181st St, Kenmore, WA 98028
Pima Medical Institute9709 Third Ave NE Suite 400, Seattle, Washington 98115
Renton Technical College3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, Washington 98056-4123
River City School of Dental Assisting2723 Chapman Road, Greenacres, WA 99016
Seattle Vocational Institute2120 S Jackson, Seattle, Washington 98144-2219
Spokane Community College1810 North Greene Street, Spokane, Washington 99217-5399

Getting Additional Certifications

There are several certifications a dental assistant can get to allow them to perform more tasks.

Sealant/Fluoride Varnish certification

This certification allows you to work with kids in school-based settings.

For this, you need 200 hours of experience, be trained in the application of sealants and having finished a CODA-accredited program or receive training from a state dentist.

You will also need to submit an application to the Washington State Dental Quality Assurance Commission.


No matter what type of dental assistant certification you have, you need a special x-ray training in order to work in this field.

This includes:

  • Familiarization with the equipment
  • Film processing
  • Radiation protection

Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary

To work as an EFDA, you have to:

  • Complete a (CODA)-accredited dental assisting program or get a CDA certification from the board
  • Complete a Dental Quality Assurance Commission accredited EFDA program
  • Take the Washington State Restorative Exam
  • Take the the Western Regional Examining Board clinical test
  • 7 hours of training in AIDS

Dental Anesthesia Assistant Certification

To get this certification, you must take the Washington State Restorative Exam (WARE).

The requirements are as follows:

  • Pass the Dental Anesthesia Assistant National Certification Examination; or
  • Complete the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Assistants Course; or
  • Hold a current Washington general anesthesia permit
  • 7 hours of AIDS training
  • Intravenous access or phlebotomy course of 8 hours
  • Have one of the following certifications:
    • healthcare provider basic life support (BLS),
    • advanced cardiac life support (ACLS),
    • pediatric advanced life support (PALS).

Having extra certifications opens the possibility for a higher salary, regardless of location.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Federal Way$40,270

Registering As A Dental Assistant

For this, you must fill in the application and submit it along with a $40 fee.

If you were recently hired, you need to get the (BLS) certification within 45 days of being employed.

The 7 hours of AIDS training must be finished through an accredited dental assistant program.

You have to submit your application to the Department of Health.

The dental assistant registration should be renewed yearly on your birthday and costs $21.

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