How to Become a Dental Assistant in Nevada

Dental assistants are a vital part of every dental clinic or practice.

Their responsibilities vary from basic and supportive, to a more complex one.

Before pursuing a job as dental assistants, individuals must see the regulations regarding this profession in the state they wish to work in.

The Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners is not licensing assistants in the dental field in Nevada.

Due to this fact employers have to come up with their own training and education for candidates.

Dental assistants are allowed to perform certain functions under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist or dental hygienist.

Don’ts for Dental Assistants in Nevada

There are certain functions that dental assistants are not allowed to perform:

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  • Functions that are not listed in the Nevada Dental Practice Act, NAC 631.220
  • Performing surgery on soft or hard tissues in the oral cavity
  • Any intraoral procedure resulting in irreversible alteration
  • Diagnose patients
  • Plan treatment for patients
  • Prescribe drugs
  • Authorization of orthodontic, restorative, or prosthodontic appliances
  • Administration of deep sedation, conscious sedation or general anesthesia

Schools for Dental Assistants in Nevada

Although the state doesn’t require a certain education, it is considered a great advantage to have one in the dental field.

Employers prefer candidates with some form of education because they are allowed to perform more functions.

The CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) is accrediting dental assisting programs in the state of Nevada.

Such programs can be found in Reno and Las Vegas.

Listed below is a list of courses that individuals can enroll in:

  • Clinical Dental Science
  • Dental Chairside Procedures
  • Dental/Head and Neck Anatomy
  • Dental Materials and Lab Techniques
  • Dental Radiography
  • Orientation to Dental Assisting
  • Preclinical Dental Science
  • Practice Management and Procedures
  • Supervised Clinical Practicum

During the programs, dental assistants will have the chance to experience on-the-job training.

They will be allowed to assist licensed dentists or dental hygienists.

During these practices, individuals will perform functions and techniques they have learned.

Also, it is important for them to make contacts with potential employers where they can apply after graduation.

National Certification Options for Dental Assistants in Nevada

The DANB (Dental Assisting National Board) offers national certifications for dental assistants.

The most wanted certification is the CDA (Certified Dental Assistant).

This kind of certification is recognized across the USA.

It shows potential employers that the candidate is serious and wishes to pursue a career as a dental assistant.

The DANB encourages all assistants in the dental field to become CDAs (Certified Dental Assistants).

In order to become CDA candidates have to pass the CDA examination.

If individuals wish to become eligible to take the CDA exam, they must fulfill one of the following requirements:

  • Be a graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
  • Have a GED or high school diploma, as well as 3,500 hours of proved working experience
  • Have a former CDA, or be a former graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by the CODA, or have a dental degree from a foreign country

In order to pass the CDA examination, individuals must pass its three subsections:

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

The exam is held in Pearson VUE centers in the state of Nevada in Las Vegas and Reno.

Also, such centers can be found in nearby states in:

  • Twin Falls, ID
  • Bountiful, UT
  • Draper, UT
  • Ogden, UT
  • Fresno, CA
  • Visalia, CA
  • Roseville, CA

Every Certified Dental Assistant must have a valid CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) or BLS (Basic Life Support) certification.

The CDA certification has to be renewed biannually.

In order to renew their Certified Dental Assistant certification, individuals are required to have 12 CDE (Continuing Dental Education) credits every year.

According to the DANB, all CDE credits have to be related directly to dental assisting, in order to be counted for renewal.

Also, they must be 45 minutes long at minimum.

Other certifications related to dental assisting, as well as other certifications from the DANB, also can be taken and counted for the CDEs.

Listed below are some categories that are allowed for the CDE:

  • Dental Office Management
  • Volunteer Service
  • Scholarly Activity
  • Clinical Practice

Also, all Certified Dental Assistants must renew their BLS/CPR certifications.

How Much Does a Dental Assistant in Nevada Earn?

When it comes to general health and oral care, there is one profession that has shown growth in the last decade.

This is the job of a dental assistant.

According to a statistic, dental assistant jobs in the state of Nevada are expected to grow in number in the period between 2012 and 2022 with 8%.

The statistic is released by the Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation.

Salaries in Nevada are divided into three sections:

  • 90th percentile – which represents experienced professionals in the state
  • 10th percentile – which represents entry-level dental assistants
  • Average

In the year 2014, the 90th percentile was 46,114 USD, while the 10th percentile – 25,832 USD.

Meanwhile, the average salary in the state of Nevada was 36,190 USD.

Bigger cities in Nevada offered higher salaries to dental assistants.

Of course, more experienced individuals, as well as educated ones are paid more becaise of their competency.

For comparison, in Carson City, the salary for the 90th percentile was 56,181 USD, while in Las Vegas it was 44,408 USD, and in Reno – 49,379 USD.

The same is the situation with the average salary in the state.

In Carson City, it was 39,460 USD, in Las Vegas – 35,235, and in Reno – 39,200.

However, when it comes to the 10th percentile Carson City offered the lowest salaries.

The salaries for the 10th percentile in Carson City was 23,587 USD, in Las Vegas, it was higher – 26,354, and in Reno, it was the highest – 31,595 USD.

Another statistic shows that in the year 2014, three-quarters of all (2,790) dental assistants in the state of Nevada were employed in Las Vegas.

Reno had a 16, 4%, followed by Carson City with 2.7%.

It is expected the job growth in Carson City to increase with 16 %, and in Reno with 10.9%.

Meanwhile, of all 80 new dental assisting jobs that are expected in the state, about 70% will be in Las Vegas.

Annual Base Salary

Annual Salary by Location:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Las Vegas, NV$38,064
Henderson, NV$37,917
North Las Vegas, NV$38,064
Paradise, NV$32,844
Reno, NV$36,746
Carson City, NV$36,892
Sparks, NV$36,746

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