Below you’ll find state specific dental assistant training requirements and programs for Texas, including links to important governing body websites and course providers. Find dental assistant schools in Texas.
There are three (3) different types of Dental Assistants in Texas:
“Qualified Dental Assistant” is a dental assistant who has received on-the-job training or instruction through a dental assisting school. There is no credential for this level of training or instruction.
“Registered Dental Assistant” is a dental assistant who has successfully completed the state-level registration process with the SBDE. Dental Assistants who successful register and have been issued a Dental Assistant Registration Certificate by the SBDE may use the credential “Registered Dental Assistant” or “RDA”. Only Dental Assistants who take radiographs are required to register with the Dental Board.
“Certified Dental Assistant” is a dental assistant who meets the education and/or experience prerequisites established by the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB) and passes the DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Examination (including Radiation Health and Safety (RHS), Infection Control (ICE) and national-level General Chairside (GC) component(s), is currently CPR-certified and continues to maintain the CDA credential by meeting DANB requirements. Dental Assistants who complete this process may use the credential “Certified Dental Assistant” or “CDA”.
All applicants for registration must have a social security card.
A1. Newly Hired Dental Assistants. Only newly hired dental assistants working in their first year of employment are permitted to make x-rays under the direct supervision of a dentist without being registered. It is during this first year of employment they should consider taking an SBDE-approved Dental Assistant Course and registering with the Dental Board as they will not be permitted to make x-rays legally after the first year of employment.
This means you can get started immediately working as a dental assistant and receive on-the-job training while going through the registration process. (Of course, previous training and registration is much more attractive to potential employers and will make you a more competitive candidate for the job.)
A2. Experienced (and Certified) Dental Assistants. Dental Assistants who have worked for more than one year in a dental office, who have never registered, but made x-rays in the past in a dental office are required to register to legally make x-rays.
Registered Dental Assistants:
Criminal Background – If you have any criminal history, you will need to fill out an Application to Request Evaluation of Criminal History to determine whether you’re eligible for licensure in the state of Texas. You will need a non-refundable cashiers check or money order for $25 with this application. If you are not sure if your history warrants filling out this application, please review the questions on the second page. Having a criminal offense in your past may not automatically bar you from becoming a dental assistant, but a signed and dated personal letter of explanation describing each offense and any rehabilitative efforts that have been performed since the order must be submitted.
Educational Requirements – You will need to take a course with a Texas State Board of Dental Examiners approved course provider. There are 3 providers currently offering online courses. The course length will vary based on the provider, but typically last about 8 hours. At the completion of the course and a passing grade on the exam, you will receive an RDA (Registered Dental Assistant) certificate, which will need to be displayed at your place of employment. Cost of course will vary between providers.
Fee: The state application fee is $36. In addition there will be an “Initial Renewal Fee” typically between $5 – $40.
Application: Click here for a copy of the application form.
Does the state of Texas recognize certification from the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board)? Yes. DANB CDAs will register with the Dental Board and provide proof of DANB CDA credental and also take the online SBDE Jurisprudence Assessment for DANB CDAs.
Does the state of Texas offer reciprocity with other states? No. If you have worked as a dental assistant in another state, you will not be permitted to take x-rays in the state of Texas until you are registered. There is no grace period.
You may find additional information through these links to your state’s official dental board page, or one of our sponsors.