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Radiography Requirements

To legally operate dental x-ray equipment and perform dental radiographic procedures in Arkansas, a dental assistant must meet the requirements shown below.

Radiography Requirements

A dental assistant must be a Registered Dental Assistant who holds a permit in radiography from the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners. To obtain this permit, one must:

1a. Hold a current national DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification, or
1b. Graduate from a CODA-accredited dental assisting program, or
1c. Successfully complete and submit a certificate of completion of a radiography course approved by the Board, AND
2. Hold Healthcare Provider-level CPR certification, AND
3. Apply for registration to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners, AND
4. Successfully complete the Arkansas jurisprudence exam. 

Note: A dental assistant holding a current radiography permit dated prior to November 1, 2011 will not be required to complete an approved radiography course unless he or she is operating an imaging machine other than conventional flat film radiography, such as cone-beam computed axial tomography (CT) scan. Dental assistants operating imaging machines other than conventional flat film radiography, including dental assistants who were issued a radiography permit by the ASBDE prior to November 1, 2011, must complete a Board-approved course in radiography and submit proof of completion to the ASBDE prior to operating such machines and/or before renewal of the radiography permit.

Dental Assisting Job Titles and Requirements for Each Level

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant in the state of Arkansas may perform basic supportive dental procedures specified by the state dental practice act under the personal supervision of a licensed dentist.

There are no education or training requirements for this level of dental assisting.

Registered Dental Assistant

A Registered Dental Assistant in the state of Arkansas is an individual who holds a permit from the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners (ASBDE) to perform one or more of the allowed expanded functions, which include coronal polishing, operating dental radiographic equipment (see above), inducing and monitoring nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia, and monitoring patients under deep sedation or general anesthesia in offices where the dentist is permitted to provide those services.

To be issued a permit for any of the expanded functions (except Sedation Monitoring, which has additional requirements), one must:
(1a) Hold a current national DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification, OR
(1b) Graduate from a CODA-accredited dental assisting program, OR
(1c) Complete an ASBDE-approved course in the desired expanded function(s), OR
(1d) Receive on-the-job training from an Arkansas licensed dentist, AND
(2) Hold current Healthcare Provider-level CPR certification, AND
(3) Provide proof of competency in the desired expanded function(s) and apply for registration to the ASBDE, AND
(4) Successfully complete the Arkansas jurisprudence exam.

A dental assistant who does not hold current DANB CDA certification and who has not graduated from a CODA-accredited dental assisting program may earn expanded functions permits as follows:


Sedation monitoring: To obtain a permit for sedation monitoring, an individual must:

1. Hold a current permit for nitrous oxide administration, AND

2. Hold current Healthcare Provider level CPR certification, AND

3. Hold current DANB CDA certification (or be a Registered Dental Assistant, a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse), AND

4. Successfully complete the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Anesthesia Assistant’s training program or a Board-approved equivalent course within the two years immediately preceding application, AND

5. Apply to the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners, AND

6. Successfully complete the Arkansas jurisprudence exam. 

Note: To renew a permit to perform expanded functions, Registered Dental Assistants must provide the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners proof of completing two hours of continuing education in infection control every two years.

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