The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry (SBOD) sets standard requirements for individuals wishing to obtain or renew a license or certificate to practice in the dental profession. As a condition of the biennial renewal of a license, each licensee shall be required to complete continuing education course.
DANB’s RHS Exam Now Required in Pennsylvania
CHICAGO (June 18, 2009) – Dental assistants in Pennsylvania are now required to pass the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, which is administered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB), in order to meet state requirements to perform dental radiological procedures.This makes a total of 37 states, plus Washington, D.C., that recognize or require dental assistants to pass one or more of DANB’s national exams in order to meet state dental assisting rules or regulations. The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry’s requirement of DANB’s RHS exam brings the dental assisting profession one step closer to national uniformity of state dental board radiography requirements.After passing DANB’s RHS exam, dental assistants must complete an application for authorization to perform dental radiological procedures, which can be found on the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry’s website at http://www.dos.state.pa.us/bpoa/lib/bpoa/20/denbd/radiology_application.pdf . Upon issuance of authorization to perform dental radiological procedures, dental assistants who work in Pennsylvania may only perform dental radiological procedures on the premises of a dentist under the direct supervision of the dentist.The DANB-Pennsylvania RHS agreement went into effect on June 9, and in July, DANB will begin issuing monthly reports of passing RHS candidates in Pennsylvania to this state’s dental board. Dentists and employers from across the United States can call DANB to verify if a dental assistant has passed the RHS exam. Dental assistants who are already authorized by the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry to perform radiological procedures, or who have already passed DANB’s RHS exam, do not need to retest. All who have not yet submitted the application required by the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry, as noted above, must do so.For more information on DANB’s RHS exam, visit www.danb.org or call 1-800-FOR-DANB. The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry can be reached at http://www.dos.state.pa.us/bpoa/cwp/view.asp?a=1104&;q=432687 or by calling 717-783-7162.
DANB is recognized by the American Dental Association as the premier national certification and testing agency for dental assistants. DANB’s certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. DANB serves the public by promoting a means of identifying qualified and competent dental assistants and by measuring and promoting excellence in oral healthcare delivery. As a Mark of Dental Assisting Excellence, DANB Certification is a source of pride for those who achieve it. Currently, there are more than 31,000 DANB Certifcants nationwide, and DANB certifications and Certificates of Competency are recognized or required in 38 states. For those dental assistants who meet the eligibility and exam requirements, Certification may be earned in the areas of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) and/or Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA). In addition to these two national credentials, DANB offers Certificates of Competency in Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and Infection Control (ICE). The RHS and ICE exams are components of the CDA exam, and ICE is also a component of the COA exam. Individuals may take these components separately in order to earn Certificates of Competency. Passing either or both of these exams demonstrates a dental assistant’s competency in these two areas that are important to the health and safety of oral healthcare workers and patients alike.
About the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry
The State Board of Dentistry, through the licensure of dentists and dental hygienists and the certification of expanded function dental assistants, ensures that such individuals are suitable and qualified. The Board issues, suspends and revokes licenses and certificates. In addition, the Board supervises dentists, dental hygienists and expanded function dental assistants to ensure that they are complying with licensure and certification requirements and investigates complaints made against these individuals. The Board develops standards of professional conduct, including continuing education requirements, in order to maintain a high level of integrity and performance in the practice of dentistry.
Expanded Function Dental Assistants
Candidates for certification as expanded function dental assistants (EFDAs) must submit verification for one of the following:
* graduation with an Associate Degree from an EFDA program at a 2-year college or institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education Council on postsecondary Accreditation
* graduation from a dental hygiene school accredited by the ADA Commission on Accreditation, at which a minimum of 75 hours of clinical and didactic instruction in restorative functions were completed
* completion of an EFDA certification program, including at least 200 hours of clinical and didactic instruction, from a program accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation or an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education Council on Postsecondary Accreditation
* EFDAs – 10 hours. At least 50 % of the required credit hours must be taken in lecture or clinical presentation, and a maximum of 50 % of the required credit hours may be taken through individual/home study.
The SBOD does not set any requirements or standards regarding the education or examination of dental assistants; however, radiological certification is necessary.
License and Certificate Renewal
Licenses and certificates are renewable biennially beginning April 1 of every odd-numbered year, for a fee charged by the SBOD.
EFDAs who fail to renew their licenses and certificates are prohibited from practicing their profession in Pennsylvania.
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