Are you looking to become a dental assistant or are moving as a current dental assistant? Make sure to check the dental assistant requirements in Arizona to see if you are still qualified in the state to practice.
Each state has different requirements for dental assistants, here are the levels, and functions permitted for dental assistants in Arizona.
Levels of Dental Assistants in Arizona
- Dental Assistant
- Dental Assistant qualified in Coronal Polishing Procedures
- Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA)
1. Dental Assistant
A dental assistant in the state of Arizona may perform basic supportive dental procedures specified by the state dental practice act under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist.
Direct supervision is defined as a dentist licensed in Arizona who is in the dental office, personally diagnoses the condition to be treated, personally authorizes the procedure, and, before dismissal of the patient, evaluates the performance of the dental assistant.
There are no educational or training requirements for this level of dental assisting.
2. Dental Assistant Qualified in Coronal Polishing
To perform coronal polishing procedures in the state of Arizona under the general supervision of a licensed dentist, a dental assistant must hold an Arizona Coronal Polishing Certificate.
General Supervision is defined for purposes of Article 7 only, a licensed dentist is available for consultation, whether or not the dentist is in the office, regarding procedures or treatment that the dentist authorizes and for which the dentist remains responsible.
How to Qualify for an AZ Coronal Polishing Certificate
Successfully pass DANB’s Coronal Polish (CP) exam found in the “Coronal Polish Exam for AZ Residents” application packet
Submit an AZ Coronal Polishing Clinical Skills Affidavit that is completed by a licensed dentist or a coronal polishing educator/course instructor, to DANB
Receive the AZ Coronal Polishing Certificate, sent upon successful completion of the DANB CP exam and submission of the Arizona Coronal Polishing Clinical Skills Affidavit to DANB.
3. Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA)
A dental assistant who wants to specify restorative functions in Arizona under the supervision of a licensed dentist must hold an Arizona Expanded Function – Restorative Certificate.
How to Qualify as an Expanded Function Dental Assistant
There are two pathways to obtaining restorative certification.
FIRST OPTION: To qualify, the dental assistant must:
- Hold the Arizona Coronal Polishing certificate and the Arizona Radiologic Proficiency certificate AND successfully complete an ASBDE-approved EFDA training course approved by the AZSBDE at a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited program, AND successfully pass the following DANB examinations:
- Anatomy, Morphology, and Physiology (AMP)
- Temporaries (TMP)
- Restorative Functions (RF) AND
Under the supervision of a licensed dentist, perform restorative procedures required by the ASBDE (place, contour and finish 20 direct restorations and place and cement five prefabricated crowns, following the preparation of the tooth by a licensed dentist) and document these procedures on a Licensed Dentist Endorsement form and then applying to DANB for the Arizona Expanded Function – Restorative Functions Certificate.
SECOND OPTION: To qualify, the dental assistant must:
- Provide evidence of currently holding or having held within the previous ten (10) years a license, registration, permit or certificate in expanded functions in restorative procedures issued by another state or jurisdiction; AND documenting clinical experience in the specified expanded functions on a Licensed Dentist Endorsement form, AND applying to DANB for the Arizona Expanded Function – Restorative Functions Certificate.
All forms for applications through DANB in restorative functions can be accessed here.
Information on EFDA at AZBDE
Radiography Requirements in Arizona
According to DANB, in order for a dental assistant to take radiographs in Arizona, one must hold a current board-approved certificate in dental radiology.
To obtain such a certificate, the dental assistant must either successfully pass the national DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, OR currently be certified in another state or jurisdiction that requires successful completion of a written dental radiography exam.
In both instances, the dental assistant would also need to apply to the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners (ASBDE) for Dental Assistant Radiography Certification by Credential and receive the Arizona Radiologic Proficiency Certificate, which is issued by the ASBDE. Information on the RHS exam can be accessed here.
Prohibited Functions for Dental Assistants in Arizona
The following are not permitted by any level of dental assistant in AZ:
- Taking final impressions for any activating orthodontic appliance, fi fixed or removable prosthesis
- Intraoral carvings of dental restorations or prostheses
- A procedure that by law only licensed dentists, licensed dental hygienists, or certified denturists can perform
- Final jaw registrations
- Activating orthodontic appliances
- An irreversible procedure
Allowed Functions for Dental Assistants in Arizona
Dental Assistant Allowable Functions Under Direct Supervision:
- Remove sutures
- Apply topical fluorides
- Place and remove dental dams and matrix bands
- Apply sealants
- Fabricate and place interim restorations with temporary cement
- Remove temporary cement and interim restorations with hand instruments
- Observe a patient during nitrous oxide and oxygen analgesia as instructed by the dentist
- Remove excess cement from inlays, crowns, bridges, and orthodontic appliances with hand instruments
- Remove periodontal dressings with hand instruments
- Prepare a patient for nitrous oxide and oxygen analgesia administration upon direct instruction and the presence of a dentist
- Place dental material into a patient’s mouth in response to a licensed dentist’s instruction
- Cleanse the supragingival surface of the tooth in preparation for:
- The placement of bands, crowns, and restorations
- Dental dam application
- Acid etch procedures
- Removal of dressings and packs
- Take digital impressions, provided the dentist approves the impression and is the one who submits it for processing
Dental Assistant Allowable Functions Under General Supervision:
- Collect and record information pertaining to extraoral conditions
- Collect and record information pertaining to existing intraoral conditions
- Train or instruct patients in oral hygiene techniques, preventive procedures, dietary counseling for caries and plaque control, and provide pre-and post-operative instructions relative to specific office treatment
Dental Assistant qualified in Coronal Polishing Procedures Allowable Functions Under General Supervision:
- Perform coronal polishing procedures
Expanded Function Dental Assistant Allowable Functions Under General Supervision:
- Apply fluoride varnish
- Apply sealants
- Place interim therapeutic restorations under the direction of a licensed dentist following a consultation conducted through teledentistry
Expanded Function Dental Assistant Allowable Functions Supervision not Specified:
- Perform placement, contouring, and finishing of direct restorations or the placement and cementation of prefabricated crowns following the preparation of the tooth by a licensed dentist; the restorative materials used shall be determined by the dentist
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