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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma.
Levels of Dental Assistants in Oklahoma
There are three levels of dental assistants in Oklahoma:
1. Dental Assistant
Every dental assistant in Oklahoma must obtain a Dental Assistant permit from the Board of Dentistry within 30 days of beginning employment. To obtain a permit, one must:
- Submit a completed application form and the required fee to the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry AND
- Pass a background check with criteria established by the OBD.
Prior to receiving a permit, the dental assistant must work under the dentist’s direct visual supervision at all times. Beginning January 1, 2020, every dental assistant receiving a permit shall complete an infection control course approved by the OBD within one year of the date of receipt of the permit. Dental assistants holding permits prior to January 1, 2020, must complete an infection control course approved by the OBD before December 31, 2020.
A dental assistant in Oklahoma may perform basic supportive dental procedures specified by the state dental practice act under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. A dental assistant must receive adequate office-based training by the supervisory dentist to ensure that the dental assistant is aware of all requirements and responsibilities of each duty to be performed.
2. Dental Assistant with Expanded Function Permit
To perform expanded functions in Oklahoma under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist, a dental assistant must obtain a permit from the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry (OBD) for each expanded duty that he or she desires to perform.
Permit applicants must complete expanded duty training in each of the desired functions at a CODA-accredited dental assisting program, or a course approved by the OBD. Available permits are:
- Radiation Safety: See “Radiography Requirements” above
- Coronal Polishing/Topical Fluoride: A dental assistant must successfully complete an OBD-approved course of study, including a clinical component, consisting of a minimum of 14 hours.
- Sealants: A dental assistant must successfully earn the coronal polishing/topical fluoride permit and complete an OBD-approved course of study, consisting of a minimum of 12 hours.
- Assisting in the Administration of Nitrous Oxide: A dental assistant must successfully complete an OBD-approved course of study, consisting of a minimum of 12 hours.
- Assisting a dentist who holds a parenteral or pediatric anesthesia permit: The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry will be developing rules to establish requirements for this permit. (Note: Only a dentist may administer anesthesia and assess the patient’s level of sedation.)
A dental assistant who holds an out-of-state dental assistant permit with expanded duties may apply for credentialing and reciprocity for a dental assistant permit including any expanded duty by demonstrating that he or she has:
- Held a valid dental assistant permit in another state for a minimum of two years and is in good standing, AND
- Held a valid expanded duty in another state for a minimum of one year, AND
- Completed an educational class for the expanded duty and that the dental assistant been providing this treatment to dental patients while working as a dental assistant in a dental office for a minimum of one year.
Any person having served in the military as a dental assistant shall receive credentialing and reciprocity for expanded functions by providing:
- Proof of military service in excess of two years with any certifications or training in the expanded function areas, AND
- Verification from the commanding officer of the medical program or the appropriate supervisor stating that the dental assistant provided the expanded functions on patients in the military dental facility for a minimum of one year within the past five years.
3. Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Assistant
To perform specified oral maxillofacial surgical assisting functions in Oklahoma, one must hold an Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Assistant permit. To qualify, one must:
- Pass a background check with criteria established by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, AND
- Be supervised by an oral maxillofacial surgeon with a current Oklahoma license, AND
- Be employed and complete a minimum of six months of training under the direct supervision of a licensed oral maxillofacial surgeon prior to starting the DAANCE program (see below), AND
- Complete the Dental Anesthesia Assistant National Certification Examination (DAANCE) program provided by the American Association of Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), AND
- Hold valid BLS certification, AND
- Complete a standardized course approved by the OBD including a minimum of four hours of didactic training that includes the required content, AND
- Complete an infection control course approved by the Board, AND
- Meet any other requirements established by the OBD, AND
- Apply to the OBD for an Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Assistant permit.
An oral maxillofacial surgery assistant permit shall be considered a temporary training permit until all of the training requirements have been completed and approved by the OBD. A temporary training permit shall not be extended beyond two years.
Note: The OBD’s anesthesia committee may make a recommendation to the OBD for an oral maxillofacial surgery assistant holding a temporary training permit to substitute training received from another state university, dental school, or technical training institute or training acquired in a surgery center or hospital while working under the authority of a licensed physician, to qualify as a partial substitute for the requirements to attain an oral maxillofacial surgery assistant permit.
Radiography Requirements for Dental Assistants in Oklahoma
To legally operate dental x-ray equipment and perform dental radiographic procedures in Oklahoma, a dental assistant must obtain a permit from the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry (OBD). To qualify, one must:
- Complete a course of study in radiation safety and protection, consisting of a minimum of seven hours, approved by the OBD, AND
- Submit written verification to the OBD from the applicant’s current employing dentist attesting to competent clinical experience, AND
- Apply for a Radiation Safety permit from the OBD and pass a background check with criteria established by the OBD.
Photo by Dario Riano