South Carolina Dental Assistant Requirements

Radiography Requirements

To legally place and expose radiographic films in a dental office, a dental assistant must hold a certificate documenting training acceptable to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Acceptable certificates include the following:

1. Diploma from a CODA-Accredited assisting program, OR

2. DANB CDA certification or the DANB RHS certificate of competency, OR

3. Certificate in radiation safety from the South Carolina Dental Association (SCDA), OR

4. Certificate documenting completion of a structured course of training in radiation safety (accepted courses include but are not limited to radiation safety training through a technical school).

Note: At its July 8, 2016 meeting, the South Carolina Board of Dentistry voted that ex-active duty military dental assistants entering the public sector be given a waiver for exemption from taking the radiography certification course, based on their documenting evidence of their military training and certification credentials. 

Dental Assisting Job Titles and Requirements for Each Level

Dental Assistant

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

There are no initial education or training requirements for this level of dental assisting. It is the responsibility of all dentists to ensure that their auxiliary staff who may be exposed to blood or other body fluids require and provide two (2) hours biennially of continuing education on sterilization and infection control and maintain records of such training. 

In settings where sedation is administered, all dental staff who provide direct, hands-on patient care must be certified in CPR at the basic life support level by a board-approved training course, received within the last two years. The operating dentist must provide training for staff with hands-on patient care commensurate with the level and mode of sedation administered. This training must be documented and available for inspection by the department upon request.

Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA)

To perform expanded functions under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist in the state of South Carolina, a dental assistant must earn status as an Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA). To qualify, one must:

1. Graduate from a CODA-Accredited dental assisting program, OR

2. Complete two years of continuous full-time employment as a chairside dental assistant.

Note: In order to monitor nitrous oxide conscious sedation, EDDAs must complete a course approved by the South Carolina Board of Dentistry, successfully complete the state board examination, submit proof of Board-approved CPR certification within the three years preceding application, and apply for state certification from the South Carolina Board of Dentistry.

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