We encourage ALL of our students to take the Ohio State board exam to become certified. This will allow endless opportunities to grow within the profession. We incorporate the study materials necessary to take your board exam during our program. This doesn’t mean you won’t have to put some additional effort in once you finish our program and take the actual exam. We wanted to give you the rundown of how testing day goes and what to expect.
The exam is only offered twice per year – in the Spring and Fall. The registration fills up very quickly so you must register once the window opens so that you are guaranteed a spot. The exam is usually offered for one weekend, on a Saturday and Sunday so that more people can register.
Dental Assisting Exam Registration
To apply to take the exam, you must be enrolled in or a graduate of a dental assisting program. If you did not go through a program and did a preceptorship (on the job training), you must have worked 12 months before taking the exam.
The exam costs $65 to take and consists of 3 parts. If you fail one part of the exam, you have 2 years to retake it or you must start over. The fee will be less to retake just one part based on which one you didn’t pass.
The exam itself is a full day. Registration begins from 8-8:30 am. The exam is timed. It consists of written and clinical skills. There are specific uniform requirements you must follow the day of the exam. They include professional scrubs, lab coat, eyewear, clean nails (no polish or acrylics), clean shoes (no canvas), hair pulled back away from face, no visible tattoos and jewelry kept to a minimum.
Taking the Dental Assisting Exam
The written part of the exam consists of approximately 250 multiple choice questions. Topics include: chairside skills, office procedures, dental anatomy, dental specialties, dental materials, sterilization/OSHA, preventive procedures and dental/medical emergency skills. The clinical exam consists of basic dental assisting tasks. The tasks include: dental materials, patient education, matrix retainers, chairside, dental insurance, instrument identification and bur identification. The last part of the exam is the radiology portion which is also written. It consists of 101 written questions, mounting x-rays and exposing x-rays.
In order to keep your certification current, you must renew EACH year. The expiration date is December 31st of each year. Additionally, you must complete 12 hours of continuing education and resubmit a form each year with a fee of $20.00 to renew. Your CPR must always be current as well. If you wait over 2 years to renew your certification you have to retake the entire exam so it is super important to stay current. Acceptable forms of continuing education are available on the CODA certification page as well as other information about the exam. http://www.codacertification.org/certified-assistants/continuing-education/
Becoming certified as a dental assistant is not necessary, however, if you plan to grow within the profession and want to obtain additional certifications to broaden your scope of practice and increase your pay rate, you definitely want to plan on testing to become certified. We are here to help!