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How to Become a Dental Assistant



For some people, working as a dental assistant is a career in and of itself. For others, it's a great first step towards working at more advanced jobs in the dental field.


It's a hands-on job that requires interacting with patients; preparing patient-area work stations; assisting dentists; processing xrays; scheduling appointments; and organizing information.


There are several paths to becoming a dental assistant, and four different levels of possible training. All paths will require registering with the Massachusetts Board of Registration and passing the Dental Assistant Ethics and Jurisprudence Exam.


The four different levels of dental assistants are:


  • Dental Assistant Trained on the Job (OJT) 

  • Formally Trained Dental Assistant (FTDA) 

  • Certified Assistant (CA) 

  • Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA) 


For more information:




State of MA "on the job training"


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