Illinois State Requirements

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Radiography Requirements

There are no radiography requirements for dental assistants in Illinois. 

All dental assistants may legally operate dental x-ray equipment and perform dental radiographic procedures.

    Dental Assisting Job Titles and Requirements for Each Level

    • Dental Assistant

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

      There are no education or training requirements for this level of dental assisting.

    • Dental Assistant qualified in expanded functions

      To perform expanded functions under the supervision of a licensed dentist in Illinois, a dental assistant must meet state requirements for each of the desired expanded functions, as outlined below.

      To qualify to perform coronal scaling and intracoronal temporization of a tooth* under the supervision of a dentist, a dental assistant must:
      (1) Have at least 2,000 hours of direct clinical and patient care experience,
      AND
      (2) Successfully complete an approved coronal polishing course prior to taking coronal scaling course
      AND
      (3) Successfully complete a structured training program in coronal scaling and intracoronal temporization of a tooth provided by an educational institution (such as a dental school or a dental hygiene or dental assisting program) or by a statewide dental or dental hygienist association approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) that includes the following:
      (a) minimum 16 hours of didactic and clinical manikin or human subject instruction covering specified content,
      (b) an outcome assessment examination that demonstrates competency,
      (c) completion of 6 full-mouth scaling procedures under the observation and with approval of the supervising dentist,
      (d) issuance of a certificate of completion (which must be kept on file at the dental office).
      See the Illinois Dental Practice Act, Section 17, Paragraph 7, for additional requirements and conditions governing the performance of these functions by dental assistants.

      *The Illinois Legislature passed a law in the 2015 legislative session authorizing performance of these functions by dental assistants meeting specified requirements; the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation is in the process of developing rules to implement this new law.

      To place, carve and finish amalgam restorations under the direct supervision of a dentist, a dental assistant must: 
      (1) Be at least 18 years of age, 
      AND 
      (2) Hold current DANB CDA certification or have been employed as a dental assistant with a minimum of two years (4,000 hours) hands-on experience, 
      AND 
      (3) Take and pass a pre-examination on basic dental procedures and techniques, as well as the basic fundamentals of dentistry, 
      AND
      (4) Complete a 40-hour course given by an approved continuing education sponsor and taught in an institution with a CODA-accredited dental, dental hygiene or dental assisting program, 
      AND 
      (5) Pass an exam that is psychometrically sound, such as a combination of DANB’s Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (AMP), Isolation (IS) and Restorative Functions (RF) exam, or equivalent*, 
      AND 
      (6) Maintain proof of BLS certification

      A supervising dentist must attend a required orientation class with the applicant and sign an agreement that he or she will follow the required guidelines regarding supervision and clinical application of specific techniques being taught between scheduled classes.

      *Note: Illinois regulations recognize DANB's Washington Restoration exam (WARE); however, at a meeting of the Illinois Board of Dentistry held Jan. 28, 2015, the Board voted to recognize a combination of DANB's AMP, IS and RF exams for auxiliaries to qualify to perform restorative functions.

      To perform coronal polishing, place pit and fissure sealants, monitor patients under nitrous oxide, or monitor patients under sedation, a dental assistant must: 
      (1) Be at least 18 years of age 
      AND 
      (2a) Complete 1,000 hours of clinical dental assisting experience 
      or 
      (2b) Complete a CODA-accredited dental assisting program 
      or 
      (2c) Hold a current national DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Certification, 
      AND 
      (3a) Complete an Illinois Board-approved course relative to the expanded function in question, subject to specific didactic and clinical requirements 
      or 
      (3b) Provide proof of completion of an Illinois Board-approved dental assisting program that contained the expanded function in the curriculum

      Note: In addition to the above requirements, in order to monitor patients while nitrous oxide is being administered and to monitor patients under minimal, moderate or deep sedation, or under general anesthesia, dental assistants must maintain basic life support certification intended for healthcare providers (BLS) that includes evaluation of hands-on skills and a written exam.

      Learn more about DANB's Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification 
      CODA-Accredited Dental Assisting Programs