How to Become a Dental Assistant in Missouri

Dental assistants are an essential part of every dental practice.

They are responsible for different everyday tasks in the dentist’s office.

To be sure what they can or cannot do dental assistants must get familiar with the regulations regarding their profession in the state they wish to work in.

According to the Missouri Dental Board, there are two types of dental assistants recognized in the state of Missouri.

These are the basic dental assistants and the expanded functions dental assistant.

The main difference between the two is education.

How to Become a Basic Dental Assistant in Missouri

The job of a basic dental assistant is an entry-level one.

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Individuals are allowed to perform supportive and simple procedures, under the licensed dentists’ supervision.

While they are not required, some dental assistants prefer to obtain some kind of certification.

This is due to the fact that most employers seek candidates with experience or education.

More qualifications usually mean more money.

In the state of Missouri, there is no training or certification required when it comes to taking dental x-rays and operating radiographic equipment.

Therefore, every dental assistant regardless of his/her competency can perform these duties.

However, if the dental assistant wants to participate in administering and monitoring nitrous oxide analgesia, he or she must meet any of the following requirements:

  • Complete a proper training and testing in administering and monitoring nitrous oxide in another state, and show a proof to the Board
  • Complete a training approved by the Board and pass the competency test in didactic and clinical training

After meeting any of the listed above requirements, candidates have to obtain a permit in administering and monitoring nitrous oxide analgesia from the Missouri Dental Board.

In order to do so, they must do the following:

  • Fill in the Application for a Permit to Assist the Administration of and Monitor Nitrous Oxide Analgesia-Dental Assistants
  • Pay a fee of 10 USD (money order or check)
  • Attach a copy of a certification of a completed training in nitrous oxide and competency testing (The certificate should include: course name, sponsor, number of clinical and didactic hours, date of course, and documentation regarding the competency testing)
  • Attach a copy of a certification in administering and monitoring of nitrous oxide analgesia from another state (if applicable)

All of the above should be mailed to the Missouri Dental Boards’ address:

3605 Missouri Blvd,

P.O. Box 1367,

Jefferson City,

MO 65102-1367.

How to Become an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant in Missouri

By becoming an EFDA, dental assistants are allowed to perform expanded functions under the supervision of a dentist who has been licensed.

Expanded functions can be performed in five areas: Restorative I, Restorative II, Orthodontics, Fixed Prosthodontics, and Removable Prosthodontics.

In order to obtain a permit in expanded functions, dental assistants must meet any of the following criteria:

  • Be a graduate from a CODA-accredited program (Commission on Dental Accreditation), including a didactic and clinical competency testing in expanded functions in any of the areas listed above, as well as pass the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) exam, approved by the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board)
  • Have a CDA certification by the DANB, and complete a training course in expanded functions approved by the Board
  • Pass successfully the Missouri Test of Basic Dental Assisting Skill, as well as a training course in expanded functions approved by the Board

Dental assisting programs in the state of Missouri can be found in: Brentwood, Forest Park, Linn, Penn Valley, and Springfield.

The CDA examination consists of three sub-exams:

  • GC (General Chairside Assisting)
  • ICE (Infection Control)
  • RHS (Radiation Health and Safety)

The GC exam is 90 minutes long and consists of 120 multiple-choice questions.

The ICE one is 75 minutes long and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.

The RHS is also 75 minutes long and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.

The exam is administered in Pearson VUE test centers in: Columbia, Kansas City, Louis, and Springfield.

The DANB administers the Missouri Test of Basic Dental Assisting Skills.

To be allowed to take the exam candidates have to complete and submit an application.

Also, the must pay a fee of 200 USD (money order or check).

The application and the fees along with any needed documentation have to be sent to the DANB at:

444 N. Michigan Ave,

Suite 900,

Chicago, IL 60611.

After that, they should schedule the exam.

The exam itself consists of 133 multiple-choice questions.

The questions are in the areas of:

  • Dental Materials
  • Charts
  • Legal
  • Jurisprudence
  • Infection Control
  • Oral Disease Prevention
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Tooth Morphology
  • Radiation Health and Safety

EFDAs must have a valid BLS (Basic Life Support) certification through the AHA (American Heart Association).

To obtain a permit dental assistants have to send an application, fee of 10 USD and any certification applicable to the Missouri Dental Board at:

3605 Missouri Blvd,

P.O. Box 1367,

Jefferson City,

MO 65102-1367.

Maintenance of Certifications and Permits in Missouri

The CDA has to be renewed each year and requires 12 continuing dental education credits.

Certified dental assistants can complete the listed below amounts and types of CDEs:

  • Volunteer service/Scholarly activity – 3 CDEs (at most) every two years
  • Clinical Practice – 12 CDEs (at most) every two years
  • Dental Office Management – 3 CDEs (at most) every two years
  • DANB or other exams related to dental assisting – 12 CDEs (at most) every two years

According to the DANB, all CDE programs must have a duration of at least 45 minutes.

Also, CDEs can be earned either in person or online.

The Missouri Expanded Function Dental Assistant Permit is valid for five years.

After that period the permit has to be renewed.

The Missouri Dental Board insists that EFDA permit holder have to complete at least 16 hours of CDE every five years.

Every dental assistant in the state of Missouri must have a valid BLS certification and online BLS course are not allowed.

How Much Does a Dental Assistant in Missouri Earn?

According to statistic dental assistants in the state of Missouri earn around 35,317 USD on average.

Annual Base Salary

Annual Salary by Location:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Kansas City, MO$35,975
Saint Louis, MO$36,036
Springfield, MO$35,293
Independence, MO$35,936
Columbia, MO$35,678
Saint Joseph, MO$35,634
Saint Charles, MO$35,841
Saint Peters, MO$35,763

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