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Dental Assistant National Board (DANB) Offers Certification Exams

dental assistant schoolsDental assistant schools encourage students to prepare for this important exam

Can you picture yourself working in a dental office? If you go to school for dental assistant training, it is likely that your program will encourage you to study for the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB) Exam.

What is the DANB Exam?

The DANB is the nationally-recognized certification education organization for dental assistants. The organization offers four national certifications, including Certified Dental Assistant and Certified Orthodontic Assistant, as well as certifications in the areas of preventive functions and restorative functions. In addition, since many states have different requirements for dental assisting, the DANB offers state-specific tests tailored to each state’s requirements.

Do Dental Assistant Schools Give the Exam?

In many cases, schools do not offer the DANB on campus. You may have to register for the exam separately, and take it at an off-site location. There is a fee to take the exam, and often the fee is not included in the school tuition. However, many schools gear their curriculum toward the exam, so that students are prepared with the latest material being taught in the field. Training programs often provide courses in dental anatomy, chair side assisting, dental radiology, dental materials, dental procedures, and other training that allows students to get the necessary background knowledge. Most programs also feature clinical experiences or externships so that students can learn the career skills through hands-on experience.

Why is the DANB important?

Successfully passing a certification exam shows to potential employers that you have the skills for the job. The DANB certification is recognized in most states throughout the country, and can give your resume a boost when you begin your job search. In addition, maintaining your certification helps you stay current on new issues and technology in the field of dental assisting. The DANB also offers a special website where Certified Dental Assistants can search for job opportunities.

How Can I Get Ready for the DANB Exam?

As you begin your training program, you will gradually learn the skills and functions of a dental assistant. Many programs align their teaching with the topics covered in the DANB. In addition, many dental assistant schools provide DANB review courses as students are nearing graduation, to help students brush up on the skills and knowledge they will need for the exam.

The DANB exam for Certified Dental Assistant contains three separate component exams. They are (1) General Chairside, (2) Radiation Health and Safety, and (3) Infection Control. You can take the exams at different times, but must pass all three of them within a five-year period in order to earn your certification.

If you find a strong dental assisting training program, it is likely that the instructors will provide you with support as you prepare for the exam. If you keep up with your studies and homework throughout your program, and you will find it easier to prepare for this exam.

We hope this article helps you understand the DANB exam, and how earning a certification can help your job prospects.