Requirements by State

The jobs a dental assistant is authorized to perform can vary from one state to another. Sometimes the best way to gauge what your dental assistant career might entail is to contact your state dental board for more information. The American Association of Dental Boards ( maintains contact information for each state board and the District of Columbia.

The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) ( is another valuable resource for learning more about state-specific dental assisting standards. You can turn to DANB for information about how specific states recognize the DANB exams, review a dental assisting “functions and requirements chart” particular to that state, or find links to the various state board of dental examiners websites.

DANB has advised dental assistants to ensure they fully understand what their job title will be in a particular state or professional setting, as that can determine the work they are authorized to perform. In some instances, if an office becomes quite busy, a dental assistant might either choose to perform, or be asked to perform, a task that falls outside the realm of what he or she is legally eligible to do. Stay current on what is permissible in your state to ensure you are providing safe and legal care.

Last Updated: 05/05/2014


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