DANB RHS Exam Now Required in Pennsylvania

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CHICAGO (June 18, 2009) – Dental assistants in Pennsylvania are now required to pass the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, which is administered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB), in order to meet state requirements to perform dental radiological procedures.

This makes a total of 37 states, plus Washington, D.C., that recognize or require dental assistants to pass one or more of DANB’s national exams in order to meet state dental assisting rules or regulations. The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry’s requirement of DANB’s RHS exam brings the dental assisting profession one step closer to national uniformity of state dental board radiography requirements.

After passing DANB’s RHS exam, dental assistants must complete an application for authorization to perform dental radiological procedures, which can be found on the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry’s website. Upon issuance of authorization to perform dental radiological procedures, dental assistants who work in Pennsylvania may only perform dental radiological procedures on the premises of a dentist under the direct supervision of the dentist.

The DANB-Pennsylvania RHS agreement went into effect on June 9, and in July, DANB will begin issuing monthly reports of passing RHS candidates in Pennsylvania to this state’s dental board. Dentists and employers from across the United States can call DANB to verify if a dental assistant has passed the RHS exam. Dental assistants who are already authorized by the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry to perform radiological procedures, or who have already passed DANB’s RHS exam, do not need to retest. All who have not yet submitted the application required by the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry, as noted above, must do so.

For more information on DANB’s RHS exam, visit www.danb.org or call 1-800-FOR-DANB. Information on the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry can be found on their website or by calling 717-783-7162.

About DANB

DANB is recognized by the American Dental Association as the national certification board for dental assistants. DANB's certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. DANB serves the public by promoting a means of identifying qualified and competent dental assistants and by measuring and promoting excellence in oral healthcare delivery. As a Mark of Dental Assisting Excellence, DANB Certification is a source of pride for those who achieve it. Currently, there are more than 33,000 DANB Certificants nationwide, and DANB Certifications and Certificates of Competency are recognized or required in 38 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Veterans Affairs. For those dental assistants who meet the eligibility and exam requirements, DANB Certification may be earned in the areas of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) and/or Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA). In addition to these two national certifications, DANB offers Certificates of Competency in Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and Infection Control (ICE). The RHS and ICE exams are components of the CDA exam, and ICE is also a component of the COA exam. Individuals may take these components separately in order to earn Certificates of Competency. Passing either or both of these exams demonstrates a dental assistant's competency in these two areas that are important to the health and safety of oral healthcare workers and patients alike.

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