Dental Assistant Training Requirements and Programs New Mexico

State specific dental assistant training requirements and programs for New Mexico, including links to important governing body websites and course providers.  Find dental assistant schools in New Mexico.

New Mexico has two types of dental assistants:

  1. Unlicensed Dental Assistant
  2. Dental Assistant with Expanded Function Certification

Unlicensed Dental Assistants 

A dental assistant without a license, may perform basic supportive dental procedures, under the supervision of a licensed dentist.  There is no formal training or education requirement, although the dental assistant will not be permitted to perform any dental radiography or other expanded functions until certification is obtained.

Dental Assistants with Expanded Function Certification

Expanded Function Dental Assistants can obtain the following certifications in New Mexico:

  • Dental Radiography
  • Rubber Cup Coronal Polishing
  • Topical Fluoride Application
  • Pit and Fissure Sealant Application

To obtain certification in any one or all of the specialization areas, you must:

  • Complete training in the expanded function
  • Pass the Dental Assisting National Board Exam (DANB) in that expanded function
  • Complete and pass the jurisprudence exam
  • Pass the New Mexico clinical exam

The fee for licensure in an expanded function is $50 only for the initial expanded function.  Additional expanded functions, even if added at a later date, do not require an additional fee.

EDUCATION AND EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS FOR DENTAL RADIOGRAPHY:

Education requirements:

  1. study by independent preparation or in a training course on radiation health and safety within the past 36 months; and
  2. have assisted with or observed five cases of full mouth intra oral radiographic series or five extra oral radiographs if applying for a limited certificate.

Examination requirements:

  1. Pass the board or DANB written examination on radiation health and safety.  Evidence of successful completion shall be posted in the dental office or dental assisting school and will serve as a training permit for six months from the date of examination.
  2. Pass the technique test demonstrating proficiency in the exposure of a full-mouth intra oral radiographic series or panoramic film as established by the board.
  3. If an applicant chooses to provide only a panoramic film the certificate holder is limited to taking only extra oral films.
  4. The technique test will be taken on a phantom or human patient.  The applicant shall expose a full mouth intra oral radiographic series of radiographs or a panoramic film, develop, mount, and label the films.  The exam must be done independently and submitted to the board office with an affidavit signed by the dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant certified in radiography attesting to the independent exam.  The radiographs must be of diagnostic quality and will be graded by at least two board or committee members and serve as the technique test required for certification.
  5. Pass the take home jurisprudence examination.
***Exemptions:  A dental hygiene student enrolled in an accredited school of dental hygiene who having passed a curriculum in dental radiography, may be granted a certificate to expose radiographs without an examination.
                       A dental assistant certified to perform dental radiography in another state with requirements not less stringent than those in New Mexico may be certified based on credentials.

 

EDUCATION AND EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS FOR RUBBER CUP CORONAL POLISHING AND APPLICATION OF TOPICAL FLUORIDE CERTIFICATION:

Education requirements:

Study by independent preparation or in a training course on rubber cup coronal polishing and application of topical fluoride and have assisted with or observed five cases of rubber cup coronal polishing on children and adults and five applications of topical fluoride.

Examination requirements: 

  1. Pass a board or DANB written examination on rubber cup coronal polishing and application of topical fluoride;
  2. Perform the technique while being personally observed by a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant certified in rubber cup coronal polishing and application of topical fluoride on five adults and children and five applications of topical fluoride on children; and
  3.  Pass the take home jurisprudence examination.

Exemptions:

  1. A dental hygiene student enrolled in an accredited school of dental hygiene having passed a curriculum for rubber cup coronal polishing and application of topical fluoride may be granted a certificate without meeting the other requirements of this section.
  2. A dental assistant who is certified to perform rubber cup coronal polishing and application of topical fluoride in another state with requirements not less stringent than those in New Mexico may be certified based on credentials.
  3. A dental assistant who holds a current CDA certification issued by DANB may be issued a certificate for rubber cup coronal polishing and application of topical fluoride without meeting the other requirements of this section

 

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICATION OF PIT AND FISSURE SEALANTS CERTIFICATION:

Experience requirements:  The applicant must have 2080 hours of clinical chair side dental assisting within the two years prior to applying for certification.

Education requirements:

(1) Study by independent preparation or a training course on pit and fissure sealant application; and

(2) Assisted with and observed application of 12 pit and fissure sealants.

Examination requirements:

(1) Pass a board or DANB examination on the application of pit and fissure sealants.

(2) Following successful completion of the examination, apply pit and fissure sealants while being personally observed by a licensed dentist or dental hygienist on five patients.

(3) Pass the take home jurisprudence examination.

Exemptions:

(1) A dental hygiene student enrolled in an accredited school of dental hygiene having passed a curriculum for pit and fissure sealants and rubber cup coronal polishing, may be granted a certificate without meeting the other requirements of this section.

(2) A dental assistant who is certified to perform application of pit and fissure sealants in another state with requirements not less stringent than those in New Mexico may be certified based on credentials.

 

Does New Mexico allow reciprocity with other states, and allow a dental assistant to apply by credentials for a Dental Assisting Certificate?  Yes, New Mexico does consider applicants from other states.  To make a determination you must send to the New Mexico Dental Board:

  • Verification of a current valid certificate from another state, or
  • An Official letter from the director of an accredited dental hygiene program indicating the applicant has completed coursework in the requested expanded function, or
  • Proof of Current, valid certification as a CDA issued by DANB.

All certifications, letters and validations must be received directly by the NM Board office from the state, institution, or DANB.

When do I renew my Dental Assistant Certificate and what are the requirements for renewal?

  • All Dental Assistant licenses are on a three-year cycle; licenses are renewed every three years.
  • Complete renewal application
  • Pay required renewal fees
  • Complete 30 hours of continuing education; if renewing certification in Radiography three hours of radiographic technique or safety and protection is required
  • Proof of current BLS or CPR
  • Completed a course in infection control.

If my license has not been renewed and I pay the late fee, can I continue to work? No, all licenses expire on June 30 of your renewal year.

What should I do if I let my certification expire at time of renewal?

  • You may reinstate the license within the year of revocation.
  • If the licensed is revoked for more than a year from the date of revocation, you must reapply for a license as a new applicant.

 

Helpful Links:

You may find additional information through these links to your state’s official dental board page, or one of our sponsors.

State of New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department – http://www.rld.state.nm.us/boards/Dental_Health_Care.aspx

Dental Board Forms and Applications – http://www.rld.state.nm.us/boards/Dental_Health_Care_Forms_and_Applications.aspx