Dental Assistant Training Requirements and Programs New York

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

New York has three levels of dental assistants:

  1. Unlicensed
  2. Certified Dental Assistant
  3. Limited Permit in Certified Dental Assisting

Unlicensed Dental Assistants 

A dental assistant not licensed by New York State may only provide supportive services to a dentist who is personally performing the service or procedure and is physically present at the chairside and attending to the patient.  An unlicensed dental assistant acts as an extra pair of hands for the dentist during procedures, performing tasks such as suctioning excess saliva, providing instruments, or holding a matrix strip or curing lamp while the dentist is practicing on the patient.

An unlicensed dental assistant may not perform any supportive service while the dentist is not physically present at the chairside and attending to the patient.  Because of the limited functions that are legally able to be handled by an unlicensed assistant, employment options may be very limited.

New York State is one of the few states that does allow unlicensed assistants to take patient x-rays.  Other tasks unlicensed assistants may perform, according to the New York State Office of the Professions are:

  • preparing instruments, materials and medicaments to be used
  • preparing the patient for treatment by seating patient, obtaining records and applying protective garb;
  • taking dental x-rays in accordance with Public Health Law
  • decontaminating, scrubbing, packaging and sterilizing all instruments
  • performing solely mechanical work upon inert matter in a dental office, e.g. trimming or mounting impressions taken by the dentist.


Registered Dental Assistants

To obtain a license as a Certified Dental Assistant in New York, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be 17 Years of Age or Older
  2. Must have a high school diploma or GED
  3. Meet Educational Requirements through a licensure-qualifying program in dental assisting or equivalent
  4. Meet Exam Requirements with passing scores on appropriate examinations administered by the              Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), Inc.*
*A certified dental assistant through the DANB cannot perform activites that require a New York State license unless a NYS license is also held.


The Education Requirement:

You must complete one of the two options below:

  1. A one-year program consisting of 24 semester hours or the equivalent including:
    1. the biomedical sciences content area:
      • body structure and function,
      • basic concepts of microbiology pertaining to infection control,
      • basic nutrition; and
    2. the professional dental assisting content area:
      • dental materials and instruments,
      • dental radiography techniques and safety,
      • basic dental and oral anatomy,
      • introductory content in oral histology, embryology, pathology, and therapeutics,
      • legal and ethical aspects (dental record keeping, terminology, charting, and patient confidentiality); and
    3. the clinical content area:
      • chairside dental assisting and appropriate laboratory                            procedures,
        1. placing and removing temporary restorations;
        2. placing, condensing, and carving amalgam restorations;                                and
        3. placing, condensing. and finishing non-metallic                                restorations.
      • patient education and preventive dentistry,
      • dental radiographic procedures,
      • infection control,
      • assisting in management of dental and medical emergencies; and
    4. course work in oral and written communications and basic behavioral concepts; and
    5. at least 200 hours of clinical experience.


  2. An alternate course of study in dental assisting acceptable to the New York State Education Department including:
    1. the biomedical sciences content area, the professional dental assisting content area, and the clinical content area; and
    2. at least 1,000 hours of relevant work experience under a licensed dentist’s direct personal supervision.

The Exam Requirement

You can pass the exam requirement one of two ways.  Both exams are administered by the DANB.

For applicants who meet DANB’s eligibility requirements

You must take and pass the current DANB Certified Dental Assistant examination consisting of the following three components:

  • Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)
  • Infection Control (ICE)
  • General Chairside (GC)

For applicants who do not meet DANB’s eligibility requirements

If you graduated from a New York State registered licensure qualifying dental assisting program or equivalent, but do not meet DANB’s eligibility requirements, you must take and pass New York’s three-part certified dental assisting examination (administered by DANB).  This exam also has three parts, and consists of:

  • DANB’s Radiation Health and Safety (RHS)
  • Infection Control (ICE) components
  • New York Professional Dental Assisting component

Does New York offer reciprocity with any other states?  No.  To practice as a Certified Dental Assistant in New York, all New York requirements must be met.

How much are the fees to apply for licensure as a Certified Dental Assistant?  The fee for licensure and first registration is $103.  Education fees are paid separately to your course provider, and will vary.  The DANB Certified Dental Assistant Exam fee is $375, when all three components are taken together.

Limited Permit

A limited permit may be obtained after completing your education requirements but before completing your exams.  You may apply for the permit at the same time as your Application for Licensure, or anytime thereafter.  The permit cannot be issued until your education is approved.  It is valid for one year, and renewable for one additional year at the discretion of the department.

A limited permit allows you to practice certified dental assisting only under the direct personal supervision of a New York State licensed dentist.  Direct supervision means supervision by a licensed dentist of dental procedures based on instructions given by a licensed dentist in the course of a procedure who remains in the dental office where the supportive services are being performed, personally diagnoses the condition to be treated, personally authorizes the procedures, and before dismissal of the patient, who remains the responsibility of the licensed dentist, evaluates the services performed by the limited permittee.

How much are the fees to apply for a limited permit?  The application fee is $40 for the first year, and $40 if renewed for a second year.  If your employment changes during the year, no additional fee is required but you must submit a new application with updated employment information.

Helpful Links:

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

Dental Board of New York –