Texas Dental Assistant Requirements

Radiography Requirements

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

Radiography Requirements

One must be a Registered Dental Assistant.

A dental assistant will not be considered to be positioning, exposing or otherwise making dental x-rays if the dental assistant only performs radiological procedures in the course of training (or for other educational purposes) and is at all times under the direct supervision of the employer dentist. A dental assistant performing radiological procedures in the course of on-the-job training may only do so for a period of one year.

Dental Assisting Job Titles and Requirements for Each Level

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant in the state of Texas 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.

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

After Sept. 1, 2008, a dental assistant in the state of Texas can earn status as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) by formally registering with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE). To qualify, one must:

1. Successfully complete a current course in basic life support, AND

2a. Successfully complete a mandatory course of training specified by the TSBDE that includes procedures for positioning and exposing dental x-rays, jurisprudence, and infection control, or

2b. Earn the national DANB CDA certification and complete the Texas Jurisprudence Assessment, AND

3. Apply to the TSBDE for registration.

Dental Assistant Qualified to Perform Expanded Functions

To perform expanded functions under the general or direct supervision of a licensed dentist in the state of Texas, a dental assistant must successfully complete the following requirements:

Monitor the administration of nitrous oxide:
  
1. Pass a TSBDE-approved nitrous oxide monitoring course, AND
  
2. Register with the TSBDE.

Perform pit and fissure sealant procedures:

1. Work at least two years as a dental assistant, AND

2. Complete a current course in basic life support, AND

3. Complete a minimum of eight hours of Texas Board-approved clinical and didactic education in pit and fissure sealants taken through a CODA-accredited dental, dental hygiene, or dental assistant program and approved by the TSBDE

Perform coronal polishing procedures:

1. Work at least two years as a dental assistant, AND

2a. Complete a minimum of eight hours of clinical and didactic education in coronal polishing taken through a dental school, dental hygiene school, or dental assisting program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and approved by the TSBDE, or

2b. Earn the national DANB Coronal Polish (CP) certificate of knowledge-based competence, or

2c. Graduate from a CODA-accredited dental assisting program approved by the TSBDE that includes clinical and didactic education in coronal polishing

Note: Effective September 1, 2017, the pit and fissure sealants certificate and coronal polishing certificate are discontinued. Effective March 18, 2018, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners has passed the above requirements for dental assistants to be eligible to perform these functions.

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