Dental assistant’s duties are normally carried out under the close supervision of a licensed dentist so patient safety and comfort are assured at all times. Although it’s perfectly possible to attend college courses to become a dental assistant, some will receive on-the-job training as there is no formal education or training requirements for carrying out basic dental assisting duties that are always closely supervised.
However certain functions and duties do require dental assistants to be registered, and to have completed particular courses. Dental assistants who operate dental x-ray equipment have to be registered, or if they are learning on the job can only carry out dental x-ray procedures for one year.
Dental assistants who wish to be registered have to take the Dental Assisting National Boards Certified Dental Assistant examination. If they wish to work in the state of Texas they must complete the Texas jurisprudence assessment and mandatory courses on dental x-rays and infection control before they can apply to the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners for registration.
Dental assistants who are registered with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners can then go on to qualify to perform expanded functions that can be carried out under the general or direct supervision of a licensed dentist within this state. In order to receive a pit and fissure sealants certificate, dental assistants must have worked for at least two years in this field, and must have completed a current course in basic life support. In addition they’ll need to complete a minimum of eight hours of board approved clinical and didactic education in pit and fissure sealants.
Those wishing to receive a coronal polishing certificate must have worked at least two years as a dental assistant, must be registered with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, have completed the jurisprudence assessment, and must have graduated from an accredited dental assisting program that includes clinical and didactic education in coronal polishing.
Dental assistants who wish to be able to monitor the administration of nitrous oxide need to be registered with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, and must have passed an approved nitrous oxide monitoring course.