Dental Assistant Requirements in Colorado


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 Colorado 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 Colorado.

Levels of Dental Assistants in Colorado

The Colorado Dental Board regulates and licenses dentists and dental hygienists and does not regulate or require the registration of dental assistants or expanded duty dental assistants.

  1. Dental Assistants
  2. Expanded Duties Dental Assistants

1. Dental Assistants

A dental assistant in Colorado may perform basic supportive dental procedures specified by the state dental practice act under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

There are no educational requirements for this level of dental assisting.

It is the responsibility of the supervising dentist to ensure that dental personnel who administer and/or monitor nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation are appropriately trained.

Dental assistants who administer and/or monitor nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation must:

  • Successfully complete current Basic Life Support (BLS) training

Dental assistants who render patient care services in a dental setting where local anesthesia, analgesia (including nitrous oxide), minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia are being administered shall have:

  • Successfully completed and maintain continuous certification in:
    • Basic Life Support (BLS) training for healthcare providers consistent with the most current science and treatment recommendations from the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR), Consensus on Science and Treatment Recommendations (CoSTR), and the American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC)

2. Expanded Duties Dental Assistant (EDDA)

Some dental assistants in the state of Colorado may choose to complete an Expanded Duties Dental Assistant (EDDA) educational program.

The EDDA designation is not recognized by the Colorado Dental Board and does not qualify a dental assistant to perform expanded duties in the state.

Access the Colorado Board of Dentistry or the Colorado Dental Association for more information.

Colorado Radiography Requirements

Pursuant to Board Rule regarding Minimum Standards for Qualifications, Training, and Education for Unlicensed Personnel Exposing Patients to Ionizing Radiation, all unlicensed dental personnel who expose patients to ionizing radiation must:

  • Successfully complete minimum safety education and training for operating machine sources of ionizing radiation and administering such radiation to patients.

The Colorado State Board has approved an educational video that is jointly sponsored by the Colorado Dental Association (CDA) and the University of Colorado School of Dentistry and is available on DVD or VHS format.

For purchasing information, please contact the CDA at 303-740-6900, 1-800-343-3010 ext. 100, or at

According to the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) in order to expose dental radiographic images, a dental assistant must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
    • AND
  • Successfully complete minimum safety, education, and training for operating machine sources of ionizing radiation and administering such radiation to patients. Approved education or training includes:
    • Completion of five hours of practical or clinical experience and 3.5 hours of lecture for a total of 8.5 hours from a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE), the State Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE), the Private Occupational School Division (POSD) (or the equivalent in any other state)
      • OR
  • Education and training may be provided on the job by a Colorado licensed dentist or dental hygienist, provided that the educational module used is approved by the Colorado Dental Board, OR
  • Successful completion of the national DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam or the national DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam.

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki

Natalie Kaweckyj

Natalie Kaweckyj

Natalie Kaweckyj, BA, LDA, CDA, RF, CDPMA, COA, COMSA, CPFDA, CRFDA, MADAA, is a senior moderator of the Dental Peeps Network and a past president of the ADAA.