When Can I Take the State Board Exam? 

 In Dental Assisting School
The state board exam to become a dental assistant is optional. That’s right! Less than 50% of dental assistants in the state of Ohio are state board certified. You can work and be employed as a dental assistant without being certified. There are different types of certifications you can take at the national or state level, and both are completely different from each other. We want to give you our recommendations of when to expect to take the state board exam and how to go about doing so.


The CODA is the Commission of Ohio Dental Assistant Certification. It is offered twice a year, in the Spring and in the Fall. It is a full day of testing on a Saturday or Sunday (they will assign you). There are 3 parts to the exam; radiology, clinical skills, and a written portion. You have to apply/sign up to take the exam 4+ months in advance to secure your spot. The exam fills up very quickly. The exam is $65 to take, and if you happen to fail one portion, you retake just that part for $25.

Preparation for the Exam

We do our absolute best to prepare the students on taking their exams. We have two instructors that have taken the exam and help students feel confident when applying to take it. We base our final exam off of the clinical portion of the state boards to also help. We have an open-door policy, meaning we allow students to come back to practice specific clinical skills so they feel ready to go. The book that was provided in class has an online portion that is a huge help with the written portion. There are a mock dental assisting board exam practice and lots of interactive tools available. We encourage doing as many of these as possible. 


The DANB or the Dental Assisting National Board exam is good for those that may want to move out of state. This certification is recognized nationally, meaning it can transfer from state to state. This is a big advantage when deciding which exam is best for you. In the state of Ohio, there is no advantage to having the DANBE over the CODA. Both allow you to take additional courses to do more chairside. These courses include dental sealants, coronal polishing, and more. This exam costs $425 to take, so it is more of an investment. We highly encourage all of our dental assisting students to take the state board exam to allow for growth in the dental field. Be sure to visit CODA’s website for information on their dress code, exam content, application, and more. http://www.codacertification.org/
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