Minnesota Dental Assistant Requirements

Radiography Requirements

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

Radiography Requirements

A dental assistant must be a Licensed Dental Assistant (see requirements below) or hold a limited-license permit. 

To receive a limited-license permit and perform radiography procedures under the general supervision of a dentist, dental assistants must:

1. Have completed education equal to or greater than that required of a Minnesota Licensed Dental Assistant (LDA), AND

2. Be currently qualified in Minnesota in an allied health profession, AND

3. Successfully complete a Board-approved course in dental radiography equivalent to a course offered in a CODA-Accredited dental assisting program, AND

4. Pass the DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, AND

5. Submit an application to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry and pay the accompanying fee.

Dental Assisting Job Titles and Requirements for Each Level

Dental Assistant

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

The dentist is responsible for ensuring that the assistant:

1. Completes and maintains consecutive and current CPR certification, AND

2. Complies with the most current infection control guidelines as specified in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Licensed Dental Assistant (LDA)

To earn status as a Licensed Dental Assistant in Minnesota, dental assistants must:

1. Pass the national DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, AND

2a. Graduate from a MN CODA-Accredited dental assisting program in, OR

2b. Graduate from a CODA-Accredited dental assisting program in in a state other than MN and, upon MN Board review of curriculum, complete additional coursework, AND

3. Pass the MN Dental Assistant State Licensing exam *(formerly known as the MN Registration exam), AND

4. Pass the MN Jurisprudence Exam, AND

5. Apply for licensure to the MN Board of Dentistry.

All licensed dental assistants must maintain a consecutive and current certificate in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) at the BLS level. 

Note: A dental assistant who received and maintained registration in MN prior to Jan. 1, 2010, can continue to practice as a licensed dental assistant without completing any further requirements. The licensed dental assistant must submit the fee for an original license to the MN board at the time of renewal.

To perform restorative procedures limited to placing, contouring and adjusting amalgam restorations, glass ionomers, and supragingival composite restorations (class I, II and V) where the margins are entirely within the enamel, and adapting and cementing stainless steel crowns, a Licensed Dental Assistant must have completed a MN Board of Dentistry-approved course in these functions and have submitted proof of completion to the MN Board of Dentistry. 

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