To legally operate dental x-ray equipment and perform dental radiographic procedures in Arizona, a dental assistant must meet the requirements shown below.
A dental assistant must hold a current Arizona Board-approved certificate in radiology. To obtain a certificate, one must:
1a. Pass the national DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, AND
1b. Receive the Arizona Radiologic Proficiency Certificate, issued by DANB, or
2a. Be currently certified in another U.S. jurisdiction that requires successful completion of a written and clinical dental radiography exam, AND
2b. Apply to the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners (ASBDE) for Dental Assistant Radiography Certification by Credential and receive the Arizona Radiologic Proficiency Certificate, issued by the ASBDE.
Note: Arizona no longer requires dental assistants to take the Arizona Clinical Radiologic Proficiency Exam as a requirement for earning the Arizona Radiologic Proficiency Certificate, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Dental Assistants who passed the RHS exam prior to Jan. 1, 2011, but have not passed the clinical exam may call DANB at 1-800-367-3262 for information on how to obtain an Arizona Radiologic Proficiency Certificate.
Dental Assisting Job Titles and Requirements for Each Level
A dental assistant in the state of Arizona may perform basic supportive dental procedures specified by the state dental practice act under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist.
There are no education or training requirements for this level of dental assisting.
Dental Assistant Qualified in Coronal Polishing
To perform coronal polishing procedures in the state of Arizona under the general supervision of a licensed dentist, a dental assistant must hold an Arizona Coronal Polishing Certificate. To qualify, one must:
1. Pass DANB's Coronal Polish exam found in the "Coronal Polish Exam for Arizona Residents" (CPEAR) [Form A] application packet (administered by DANB), AND
2. Submit an Arizona Coronal Polishing Clinical Skills Affidavit [Form B] completed by a licensed dentist or coronal polishing educator/course instructor, AND
3. Receive the Arizona Coronal Polishing Certificate, sent upon successful completion of the DANB Coronal Polish exam and submission of the Arizona Coronal Polishing Clinical Skills Affidavit to DANB.
Learn More about DANB's Coronal Polish Exam for Arizona Residents (CPEAR) [Forms A & B]
Expanded Function Dental Assistant
In the 2015 legislative session, the Arizona legislature passed a bill authorizing dental assistants who meet certain education and testing requirements to perform specific expanded functions. The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners is currently in the process of developing rules and administrative processes to implement the new law.
Under the new law, to qualify to perform expanded functions, a dental assistant will be required to do the following:
- Complete a board-approved expanded function dental assistant training program at an institution accredited by CODA, AND
- Pass an examination in dental assistant expanded functions that is approved by the board
Expanded functions include the placement, contouring and finishing of direct restorations or the placement and cementation of prefabricated crowns following the preparation of the tooth by a licensed dentist. The restorative materials used shall be determined by the dentist. An expanded function dental assistant may place interim therapeutic restorations under the general supervision and direction of a licensed dentist following a consultation conducted through teledentistry.
An expanded function dental assistant may apply sealants and fluoride varnish under the general supervision and direction of a licensed dentist.