Dental Assistants

Dental Assisting

Dental Assistants who do not make x-rays or monitor nitrous oxide conscious sedation are not required to register with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE).

There are three types of dental assistants recognized by the TSBDE. A definition for each type of dental assistant is provided below.

What is the Difference between a Qualified Dental Assistant an RDA and a CDA?

A Qualified Dental Assistant is a dental assistant who has received on-the-job training or instruction through a dental assisting school or has been employed and trained by a licensed dentist.  The TSBDE does not issue a certificate for this level of training or instruction. If a qualified dental assistant wants to make x-rays in Texas they must complete a TSBDE-approved Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Course.  

A Registered Dental Assistant is a dental assistant who has successfully completed the state-level registration process with the TSBDE to hold a Texas RDA Certificate which will legally permit the assistant to make x-rays in Texas.  Dental Assistants who successfully register with the TSBDE and hold the Texas RDA Certificate may use the credential "Registered Dental Assistant" or "RDA".  An RDA Certificate must be displayed where x-rays are made.

A Certified Dental Assistant is a dental assistant who meets the education and/or experience requirements established by the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB). This requires an assistant to take a course and pass the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Examination (including Radiation Health and Safety (RSH), Infection Control (ICE) and national-level General Chairside (GC) component(s). The assistant must also hold a current CPR Card. Holding this certification requires a yearly renewal fee and continuing education. Dental Assistants who hold a CDA Card issued by DANB may use the "Certified Dental Assistant" or "CDA" credential behind their name.