Colorado Dental Assistant Requirements

Radiography Requirements

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

Radiography Requirements

A dental assistant must:

1. Be at least 18 years of age, AND

2. Successfully complete minimum safety, education and training for operating machine sources of ionizing radiation and administering such radiation to patients. Approved education or training includes:

a. Completion of five hours of practical or clinical experience and 3.5 hours of lecture for a total of 8.5 hours from a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the State Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education, the Private Occupational School Division (or the equivalent in any other state), OR

b. Education and training may be provided on the job by a licensed dentist or dental hygienist, provided that the educational module used is approved by the Colorado Dental Board, OR

c. Successful completion of the national DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam or the national DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam.

Dental Assisting Job Titles and Requirements for Each Level

Dental Assistant

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

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

Note: It is the responsibility of the supervising dentist to ensure that dental personnel who administer and/or monitor nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation are appropriately trained. Dental assistants who administer and/or monitor nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation must successfully complete current Basic Life Support (BLS) training. 

Dental assistants who render patient care services in a dental setting where local anesthesia, analgesia (including nitrous oxide), minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation or general anesthesia are being administered shall have successfully completed and shall maintain continuous certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) training for healthcare providers recognized by the American Heart Association, the American Safety and Health Institute, or the American Red Cross. 

Expanded Duties Dental Assistant (EDDA)

Some dental assistants in the state of Colorado may choose to complete an Expanded Duties Dental Assistant (EDDA) educational program. The EDDA designation is not recognized by the Colorado Dental Board and does not qualify a dental assistant to perform expanded duties in the state.

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