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Monday, 01 September 2014
 
 
Dental Assistant FAQ Print E-mail

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – DENTAL ASSISTANTS

 Click on the Question Below to view the Answer.
    1.   How do I know if I need to register as a dental assistant?
    2.   I sent my application in over two weeks ago and have not heard anything. How can I verify the Dental Board received it?
    3.   How long is the document showing I passed a Dental Board-approved course valid for? 
    4.   When I checked online my registration Issue Date and Expiration Date are the same.  Why is this?
    5.   I am a newly hired Dental Assistant.  Can I work if I am not registered with the Dental Board?
    6.   How do I find information on Dental Assistant Courses being held in my area?
    7.   I don't have Social Security Card.  Can I send a copy of my passport or another document instead?
    8.   How much does a Dental Assistant Course cost?
    9.   How long does the Dental Assistant Course last? 
    10. How long is my RDA Certificate valid for? 
    11.   Can I pay my fees by phone, online or by mail? 
    12.  Are Dental Assistants who hold the SBDE Radiology Certificate issued prior to 2007  "grandfathered" and allowed to continue making x-rays in lieu of holding the new RDA Certificate? 
    13.  I am a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) through the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB).  How am I affected when it comes to Registering with the Dental Board?   
    14.  When I receive my RDA Certificate can I begin using the RDA Credential behind my name?    
    15.  What is the difference between an RDA, a CDA, and a qualified Dental  Assistant?      
    16.  Do I need to display an original RDA Certificate in every office where I work? 


1.  How do I know if I need to register as a Dental Assistant?
A.  Only those Dental Assistants who take radiographs are required to register with the Dental Board.

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2.  I sent my application in over two weeks ago and have not heard anything.  How can I verify if the Dental Board received it? 

A1.  It takes approximately 4-6 weeks to process an application.  You can check our website under the "Find a Licensee" section.  When your name appears online you can expect to receive your Activation Form in the mail soon thereafter. 

A2.  If you used an overnight courier service such as UPS or Federal Express, please contact the carrier to confirm receipt of your package by the Dental Board.

E-Mail Your Request for a Status and Provide the following information:
  -  Tell us you are requesting the status of your RDA Application.
  -  Your Name, Address, Phone Number.
  -  Date you mailed your application.
  -  Method of Payment (e.g., check, money order).
             Dental Board E-Mail Address:   This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it


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3.  How long is the document showing I passed a Dental Board-approved Course valid for?
A.  The documents given to you by the Course Provider are valid forever however, RDA Course Providers only keep a copy of course results for a period of two (2) years from the date they were issued.  If you do not have a copy of your RDA Course Results you should contact the RDA Course Provider to obtain a copy.  If the RDA Course Provider does not have a copy of your results you will need to repeat the course to obtain a new document.

Note to DANB CDAs:  The Jurisprudence Assessment Certificate of Completion is valid for one year from the date of completion.

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4.  I checked online and my registration Issue Date and Expiration Date are the same.  Why is this?

A.   In order for the Issue Date and Expiration Date to be updated and changed online to reflect different dates, the Dental Assistant must mail their Activation Form and Activation Fee back to the Dental Board within 30 days of receipt.   The Activation Form is mailed to the Dental Assistant within 7-10 business days after the Issue Date displayed on the website.  

Need to Request Another Activation Form?  E-mail the Dental Board and provide your Full Name, RDA Registration Number (if known), address and phone number.   E-Mail Address:  This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Reminder:  The RDA Registration Process is a 2-Step Process:
Step 1:  Register for the RDA Certificate by mailing in the initial application. 
Step 2:  Activate the RDA Registration by mail.  (Mail your Activation Form and Activation Fee back to the Dental Board within 30 days of receiving the form in the mail.   You should receive your RDA Certificate by mail within the following 7-10 business days.)

The Activation Fee ranges between $13 and $35. 

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5.  I am a newly hired Dental Assistant.  Can I work if I am not registered with the Dental Board?

A1.   Newly Hired Dental Assistants. Only newly hired dental assistants working in their first year of employment are permitted to make x-rays under the direct supervision of a dentist without being registered. It is during this first year of employment they should consider taking an SBDE-approved Dental Assistant Course and registering with the Dental Board as they will not be permitted to make x-rays legally after the first year of employment.

A2.   Experienced (and Certified) Dental Assistants. Dental Assistants who have worked for more than one year in a dental office, who have never registered, but made x-rays in the past in a dental office are required to register to legally make x-rays. 


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6.  How do I find information on Dental Assistant Courses being held in my area?
A:  Review the list of Dental Board-approved course providers located  HERE .  Contact each course provider for a schedule of courses.  Courses are offered throughout the State of Texas.  Currently three Course Providers offer their course online.   

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7.  I don't have a Social Security Card.  Can I send a copy of my passport or another document instead?
A.  No.  You must provide a copy of your Social Security Card.  (A federal or state income tax document listing your SSN will not be acceptable).  Contact the Social Security Administration for more information. 

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8.  How much will the Dental Assistant Course Cost? 
A.  The Course Provider can tell you how much the course will cost.  Each course will cost differently. 

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9.  How long does the Dental Assistant Course last? 
A.  Most of the courses last 8 hours.  Online courses can last more or less than 8 hours. 

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10.  How long is my RDA Certificate valid for? 
A.  Your first RDA Certificate can be valid for up to 7 to 16 months.  All subsequent RDA Certificates issued to you will be valid for 1 year. 

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11.  Can I pay my fees by phone, online or by mail? 

A.  By Phone:  No
     By Online:  Yes   Click here to Renew Online:  www.tsbde.state.tx.us/RenewOnline
     By Mail:       Yes   Click  HERE  to print a Renewal Form


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12.  Are Dental Assistants who hold the SBDE Radiology Certificate issued prior to 2007  "grandfathered" and allowed to continue making x-rays in lieu of holding the new RDA Certificate?

A.  No.  The SBDE Radiology Certificate expired in September 2007 and was replaced by the new RDA Certificate.  All dental assistants at this time must pass a Board-approved course and register with the Dental Board. 


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13.  I am a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) through the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB).  How am I affected when it comes to Registering with the Dental Board?
A.  DANB CDAs will register with the Dental Board and provide proof of DANB CDA credental and also take the online SBDE Jurisprudence Assessment for DANB CDAs.

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14.  When I receive my RDA Certificate can I begin using the RDA Credential behind my name? 
A.  Yes.  The RDA Credential issued in Texas is only valid in the State of Texas. 

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15.  What is the difference between an RDA, a CDA, and a qualified Dental  Assistant?
A.   "Qualified Dental Assistant" is a dental assistant who has received on-the-job training or instruction through a dental assisting school.  There is no credential for this level of training or instruction.

"Registered Dental Assistant" is a dental assistant who has successfully completed the state-level registration process with the SBDE.  Dental Assistants who successful register and have been issued a Dental Assistant Registration Certificate by the SBDE may use the credential "Registered Dental Assistant" or "RDA".

"Certified Dental Assistant"  is a dental assistant who meets the education and/or experience prerequisites established by the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB) and passes the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Examination (including Radiation Health and Safety (RHS), Infection Control (ICE) and national-level General Chairside (GC) component(s), is currently CPR-certified and continues to maintain the CDA credential by meeting DANB requirements.  Dental Assistants who complete this process may use the credential "Certified Dental Assistant" or "CDA".

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16.  Do I need to display an original RDA Certificate in every office where I work? 
A.  Yes.  Texas law requires a Dental Assistant to display an original RDA Certificate in the area where they provide services.  To request a Duplicate Annual Registration Certificate click HERE.

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