How to Become a Dental Assistant in West Virginia

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How to Become a Dental Assistant in West Virginia

According to the Workforce West Virginia, in 2012, there were 1,255 dental assistants employed in West Virginia.

The same institution foresaw the growth of the job market for this occupation, at a rate of about 55 positions per year, making it one of the highest in demand.

There is no law in this state demanding these professionals to undergo specific training, but they do have to work under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

The West Virginia Board of Dentistry recognizes 2 types of dental assistants:

  • Dental assistants allowed to perform basic job duties
  • Dental Assistants with Expanded Duties, allowed to carry out extra duties after undergoing specific training.

Being a dental assistant with expanded duties gives the possibility of a higher annual income.

Annual Salary Range:
$29K
$33K
$40K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Charleston$34,408
Huntington$33,361
Morgantown$36,980
Parkersburg$33,543
Wheeling$36,980
Weirton$36,847
Fairmont$36,980
Martinsburg$41,615
Beckley$34,105
Clarksburg$33,240

Education and Training Programs

To be allowed to carry out expanded duties, dental assistants need to first attend a training program that was accredited by CODA.

These classes last for up to 1 year and they offer both relevant coursework and hands-on experience.

Usually, internships are also available through a dental school.

CODA accreditation has national recognition, so those interested can attend training programs in neighboring states as well.

Upon completing such a program, the student will obtain a certification, however, they can choose to pursue longer educational programs that award them with an associate’s degree.

A bachelor’s degree is another option, though this one is for those working as dental hygienists.

These degrees allow their holders to also supervise a dental practice.

School NameAddress
Academy of Careers and Technology390 Stanaford Rd, Beckley, West Virginia 25801
Carver Career Center4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, West Virginia 25306-6397
Putnam Career and Technical Center300 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, West Virginia 25070-0640
West Virginia Junior College1000 Virginia St E, Charleston, West Virginia 25301
West Virginia Junior College176 Thompson Dr., Bridgeport, West Virginia 26330

Dental Assistant With Expanded Duties

There are several types of expanded duties a dental assistant can perform.

Restorative and/or Orthodontic Duties

The requirements for these duties are:

  • Graduate from a Board-approved course and exam for these duties
  • Acquire a minimum and mandatory experience while being supervised
  • Send the application form to the Board

The candidate has to apply separately for each duty, and the requirements are slightly different.

Restorative duties application requirements:

  • Prove a minimum of 6 hours of didactic education
  • Prove the completions of several clinical practical cases

Orthodontic application requirements:

  • Prove a minimum of 4 hours of didactic education
  • Prove the completions of several clinical practical cases

There’s an application fee as well: $25 for each duty.

Coronal Polishing Duties

Requirements:

  • A minimum of 3,000 hours (two years) of work experience in a dental office
  • Undergo training for coronal polishing
  • Undergo training for restorative duties or orthodontic duties
  • Complete the work experience under the supervision
  • Send an application to the Board

The application for this certificate must include the following documents:

  • Prove the accumulation of a minimum of 2 years (or 3,000 hours) of clinical experience
  • Proof of completing these training programs:
    • restorative expanded duties course; OR an orthodontic expanded duties
    • coronal polishing course
  • Proof of having completed at least 5 clinical competencies

Monitoring of Nitrous Oxide Analgesia

To perform this task, the candidate must:

  • Finish the approved training course and exam for the monitoring of nitrous oxide
  • Have a CPR certification
  • Apply for the certification

The application must be accompanied by:

  • Application fee – $25
  • Proof of having attended 2 hours of didactic instruction
  • Proof of having scored at least 75% on the exam

A supervising dentist must sign all the applications.

Monitor During Sedation Duties

For this certification, the individual must:

  • Have CPR certification
  • Be trained in the treatment and recognition of medical emergencies, monitoring vital signs, and the operation of nitrous oxide delivery systems;
  • Obtain a certificate from the Board as a qualified monitor certificate
  • Have an anesthesia assistant certificate from an approved training program

National Certification Options

Obtaining certification through DANB can qualify a candidate to perform expanded duties.

This certification may also offer the possibility of earning additional diplomas in West Virginia.

There are 4 certifications offered by DANB:

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

These certifications are obtained by passing an exam that may have between 2 and 4 separate tests.

The certifications have to be renewed every year after the candidate completes at least 30 continuing education credits.

USA Dental Assisting by State


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