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Note: The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry published new regulations effective October 10, 2014 related to registration and scope of practice of dental assistants. The DALE Foundation has updated this page to reflect the recent changes, but the new information has not been reviewed or approved by the Massachusetts Board. The new regulations require all dental assistants to register by January 1, 2015. For authoritative information on the requirements and registration process for dental assistants in Massachusetts, please visit the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry website or contact the Board by phone at (617) 973-0924 or by email at dentalasst.admin@state.ma.us.

Radiography Requirements

To take dental radiographs under the supervision of a dentist, one must

1a. Be a Dental Assistant Trained on the Job (OJT), AND

1b. Complete a course in radiological techniques and safeguards, AND

1c. Pass the DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam or other exam approved by the board, within one year of the course completion,

OR

2a. Be a Massachusetts Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA), Certified Assistant (CA), or Formally Trained Dental Assistant (FTDA) [see requirements below], AND

2b. Successfully complete a course with a curriculum that complies with Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) standards for radiological techniques and safeguards in dentistry.

Dental Assisting Job Titles and Requirements for Each Level

Dental Assistant Trained on the Job (OJT)

To qualify as a Dental Assistant Trained on the Job (OJT), one must:

1. Be 18 years of age, of good moral character, and not licensed as a dentist or dental hygienist, AND

2. Complete a course on infection control/CDC guidelines, AND

3. Hold current certification in CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer from the American Red Cross or Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS) from the American Heart Association, AND

4. Apply to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry for registration.

A person who is at least 18 years of age, who has not been previously licensed or registered as a dentist, dental hygienist or dental assistant and who is not in violation of any rule or regulation adopted by the board may practice as a dental assistant under the supervision of a Massachusetts licensed dentist without being registered by the Board for a preliminary, one-time period of up to six consecutive months to commence from the beginning of the initial period of on-the-job training. Prior to commencement of unlicensed on-the-job training, the prospective dental assistant must notify the Board of his or her intent to commence such training on a form prescribed by the Board and submit the following documentation to the Board:

• A complete, accurate, signed, and notarized notice of intent
• Attestation that the person named in the notice of intent has never practiced or been licensed as a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant
• Certification by the supervising dentist that he or she is licensed to practice dentistry, is responsible for supervising the person named in the notice of intent, has verified that the person has completed education in Infection Control, and is not in violation of any rule or regulation adopted by the Board
• Date when the six-month unlicensed on-the-job training period will commence

Formally Trained Dental Assistant (FTDA)

To qualify as a Formally Trained Dental Assistant (FTDA), one must:

1. Be 18 years of age and of good moral character, AND

2. Successfully complete a dental assisting program accredited by CODA or authorized, approved, accredited, licensed or certified by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE), or the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) or both, AND

3. Hold current certification in CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer from the American Red Cross or Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS) from the American Heart Association, AND

4. Apply to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry for registration.

Certified Assistant (CA)

To qualify as a Certified Assistant (CA), one must:

1. Be 18 years of age and of good moral character, AND

2. Hold any current national certification from DANB, or hold certification from another Board-approved certifying body, AND

3. Hold current certification in CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer from the American Red Cross or Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS) from the American Heart Association, AND

4. Apply to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry for registration.

Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA)

To qualify as an Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA), one must:

1. Be 18 years of age and of good moral character, AND

2. Hold any current national DANB certification or certification from another Board-approved certifying body, AND

3. Complete a formal program in the Massachusetts delegable expanded functions at a CODA-accredited program, AND

4. Hold current certification in CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer from the American Red Cross or Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS) from the American Heart Association, AND

5. Apply to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry for registration.

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