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 Florida 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 Florida.
Levels of Dental Assistants in Florida
There are three levels of dental assistants in Florida:
- On the Job Trained Dental Assistant
- Dental Assistant Formally Trained in Expanded Functions
- Dental Assistant Formally Trained in Restorative Functions
1. On the Job Trained Dental Assistant
A dental assistant in the state of Florida may perform basic supportive dental procedures specified by the state dental practice act under the supervision of a licensed dentist.
On-the-job trained assistants in Florida must be trained in the dental office under the supervision of a licensed dentist who assumes full responsibility for assuring that the assistant so trained is competent to perform the tasks.
2. Dental Assistant Formally Trained in Expanded Functions
Dental assistants in Florida must have formal training to perform the expanded functions listed in the Practice Act.
To qualify to perform expanded functions, one must:
- Complete a course or program administered by or developed as part of the regular curriculum at dental, dental hygiene, or dental assisting educational program accredited by CODA that provided training in the expanded function;
- Successfully complete a Florida Board-approved expanded duties formal training program.
Note: The DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification was removed as a pathway to qualify to perform expanded functions in Florida effective May 2009. Dental Assistants who were employed in Florida and had earned the CDA certification prior to the effective date of this rule change are “grandfathered in” and are permitted to perform expanded functions in Florida. Contact the Florida Board of Dentistry for specific information about this rule change.
To monitor nitrous oxide inhalation analgesia, a dental assistant must:
- Complete a course of training of no less than two days as described in the American Dental Association’s “Guidelines for Teaching and Comprehensive Control of Pain and Anxiety in Dentistry” or equivalent, AND
- Be certified in an American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or equivalent agency-sponsored CPR course at the basic life support level, including one-man CPR, two-man CPR, infant resuscitation, obstructed airway, and use of either an Automated External Defibrillator or a defibrillator and electrocardiograph, with a periodic update not to exceed two years.
3. Dental Assistant Formally Trained in Restorative Functions
A dentist may delegate remediable intraoral restorative functions to be performed under direct supervision to a Dental assistant who has met the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age, AND
- Be a high school graduate or equivalent, AND
- Hold current BLS for Healthcare Provider certificate, AND
- Graduate from a dental assisting program accredited by a dental accrediting entity recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, OR
- Successfully complete a Florida Board-approved expanded duties formal training program, AND
- Document proof of 2,400 hours of clinical work experience in either a dental office or as a dental assisting educator, AND
- Complete a mandatory restorative functions training course offered by a dental or dental hygiene school or program accredited by a dental accrediting entity recognized by the United States Department of Education meeting the requirements of Florida Board of Dentistry rules and receive a course completion certificate.
Radiography Requirements for Dental Assistants in Florida
To legally operate dental x-ray equipment and perform dental radiographic procedures in FL, a dental assistant must either:
- Graduate from a Florida Board of Dentistry-approved dental assisting school or program, OR
- Be state-certified as a dental radiographer by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH).
To obtain the dental radiography certification, one must:
- Successfully complete at least three months of continuous on-the-job training through assisting in the positioning of digital radiographic sensors and positioning and exposing of dental radiographic images under the direct supervision of a Florida-licensed dentist, AND
- Successfully complete a Florida Board-approved radiology course within 12 months of completing on-the-job training, AND
- Apply to the FDOH for certification.
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