Our Mission and History
We are the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Our mission is to promote the public good by providing credentialing services to the dental community. We accomplish and measure the success of this mission through the creation of valid dental assisting exams; recertification requirement integrity; and valuable, visible and accessible DANB exams, certificates and certifications.
We have a
long and interesting history that traces back to 1948, when the American
Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) identified the need for dental
assistant certification and founded the Certifying Board of the American
Dental Assistants Association. In 1978, the Certifying Board became a
separately incorporated organization and, in 1980, changed its name to
the Dental Assisting National Board.
Today, DANB is
recognized by the American Dental Association as the national
certification board for dental assistants. More than 36,000 dental
assistants hold DANB certification, and each year, DANB issues nearly
50,000 certificates to those who pass its national and state exams.
DANB founded the Dental Advancement through Learning and Education (DALE) Foundation in 2010 as its official education and research affiliate. The DALE Foundation offers interactive online educational courses and resources to advance the dental team and help dental professionals prepare for DANB exams.
Our Accreditation and Impartiality
DANB’s CDA and COA certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This demonstrates DANB’s compliance with the standards of excellence for professional certification programs. The NCCA is a commission of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence and provides accreditation for credentialing programs. DANB is also a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.
DANB understands the importance of impartiality and potential conflicts of interests in carrying out its certification activities. Being impartial, and being perceived to be impartial, is necessary for DANB to be able to deliver credible certification programs that provide confidence to our candidates and certificants, the dental community, and the public. In order to obtain and maintain confidence, DANB will, at all times, be able to demonstrate that our decisions are based on objective evidence and that our decisions have not been improperly influenced by other interests or by other parties.
Our Guiding Principles
DANB follows these guiding principles in all our relationships and interactions:
Trust. We are committed to quality, ethics and best practices in the
development of DANB testing and credentialing-related services,
including meeting all national exam development and credentialing
information to DANB stakeholders is a priority. We seek to provide full
attention as active listeners and proactive problem solvers while
providing accurate and timely information in an easily accessible
Respect. We are committed to valuing each stakeholder with equal consideration of their needs or position, no matter how big or small.
We are committed to continuously promoting the dental assisting
profession by seeking to develop new solutions, services and resources
for the oral healthcare community, as these relate to DANB’s mission.
Teamwork. We are committed to working together with representatives of our communities of interest to develop and exchange ideas that promote the public good and enhance the oral healthcare community as a whole.
Board of Directors
DANB’s Board of Directors includes nine directors. Directors are nominated by the American Dental Assistants Association (3 directors), American Dental Association (2 directors), the American Association of Dental Boards (1 director), and American Dental Education Association (1 director). There is also one director who is a DANB certificant and one director who is a member of the public.
Chair: Lois Bell
Lois Bell, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, CDIPC, MADAA, was elected to DANB’s Board of Directors in August 2016 and is serving her second three-year term. DANB’s Board elected Ms. Bell from a slate of qualified nominees provided by the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA).
Ms. Bell retired in August 2021 from dental assisting after being a practicing dental assistant for over 40 years. During her career, she worked in a variety of settings, including both large and small private practices, as well as in clinics for the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. Ms. Bell earned DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification in 2003, followed by DANB Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA) in 2010 and DANB Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA) certification in 2013. In December 2021, she earned Certified in Dental Infection Prevention and Control (CDIPC) certification, developed by DANB in collaboration with the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention. Most recently, Ms. Bell worked as a dental assistant at the VA Greenville Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Greenville, South Carolina.
In addition to her chairside dental assisting work, Ms. Bell has been an active member of the ADAA at state and national levels since 1996. She served as ADAA secretary from 2012 to 2013, and is currently serving on the ADAA’s Council on Education and Council on Mastership/Fellowship.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Department of Veterans Affairs Hands and Heart award and the Unsung Hero award, as well as multiple awards from the South Carolina Dental Assistants Association.
Vice Chair: Steven J. Holm
Steven J. Holm, D.D.S., of Portage, Indiana, was elected to DANB’s Board of Directors in August 2017 and is serving his second three-year term. DANB’s Board selected Dr. Holm from a slate of qualified nominees provided by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Dr. Holm has been a general dentistry practitioner and an adjunct faculty member at Indiana University Northwest for more than 30 years. Since 1998, he has served as a delegate to the ADA House of Delegates, as well as a member of ADA’s Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations (CAPIR) Council–7th District and Council on Dental Education and Licensure. Since 2013, he has served as a member of ADA’s Licensure Task Force.
Dr. Holm is a Fellow in the Pierre Fauchard Academy, American College of Dentists and International College of Dentists. He’s also active in the Indiana Dental Association (IDA), where he has held many leadership roles, including currently serving as the chair of government affairs. From 2014-2015, he served as president of IDA and in 2015 was recognized for his outstanding service.
In addition, Dr. Holm is active in the Academy of General Dentistry, Chicago Dental Society, Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity, Northwest Indiana Dental Society and Porter County Dental Society.
Dr. Holm is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and Loyola University School of Dentistry.
Secretary-Treasurer: Constance Reed
Constance “Connie” Reed, CDA, EFDA, B.S., began serving on DANB’s Board of Directors in August 2017. She was elected from a slate of qualified nominees provided by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and is serving her second three-year term.
Ms. Reed, of Tampa, Florida, is the manager of the dental assistant program at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida. She has been a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certificant since 1984.
Ms. Reed has been a member of the ADEA since 2001, and since 2013, she has served as chair of the ADEA’s Dental Assisting Education Section. She is also a member of the Florida Allied Dental Educators, where she has held the positions of president and secretary. In addition, Ms. Reed is a consultant with the West Coast District Dental Association Scholarship Committee and has served on the boards of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, Florida Dental Health Foundation and Big Bend Area Health Education Center.
Since 2013, Ms. Reed also has served on the Florida Board of Dentistry’s Dental Assisting Committee, and she has served as a site visitor for the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation for nine years.
Ms. Reed worked for 12 years at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida, as both dental assisting outreach coordinator and a dental assisting adjunct instructor. She served as interim director of dental programs at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida, and she has worked for nearly 17 years at Hillsborough Community College.
Prior to her experiences in education, Ms. Reed worked for 12 years as a dental assistant in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and Missouri. She has received honors from the Association of Florida Colleges (formerly the Florida Association of Community Colleges [FACC]), including the Excellence Award of FACC Curriculum of Instruction. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in vocational education in 1991 from University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
Michael Conte, D.M.D., M.P.H., was elected to DANB’s Board of Directors in August 2016 and is now serving his second three-year term. DANB’s Board elected Dr. Conte from a slate of qualified nominees provided by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Dr. Conte is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and the Senior Associate Dean for the Office of Clinical Affairs at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, where he also serves as the Medical Director and the Director of Infection Control and Environmental Safety. Additionally, Dr. Conte serves and chairs many committees and is involved in the oversight of the dental school’s extramural programs and facilities administration.
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Conte is a consultant to the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry and the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments. He is also on the advisory board for a local Newark public school and has served as a Commission on Dental Accreditation site visitor.
Dr. Conte is active in numerous associations, including the ADA and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention. He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. He is a graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now known as the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine) and has completed additional post-graduate training, including an Advanced Education in General Dentistry program and the American Dental Education Association’s Leadership Institute.
Frank Maggio, D.D.S., was elected to DANB’s Board of Directors in August 2021 and is serving the first of a possible two three-year terms. DANB’s Board selected Dr. Maggio from among qualified nominees provided by the American Association of Dental Boards (AADB).
Dr. Maggio is a periodontist with a practice in Elgin, Illinois; he is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois (UIC) Chicago College of Dentistry, Department of Periodontics. Additionally, Dr. Maggio currently serves on the UIC Dental Alumni Board of Directors, formerly serving as its Past President, and is a dental assisting faculty member at Elgin Community College.
Dr. Maggio has been a member of the ADA since 1971, and has served on numerous ADA committees, councils and task forces. He was an ADA Foundation Board member and was Chairman of the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure, along with being an ADA Trustee. He also has been President of the Illinois State Dental Society, Fox River Valley Dental Society and McHenry County Dental Society.
Beyond this, Dr. Maggio’s professional affiliations include involvement in the Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Dental Honor Society. He also is a Fellow in the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, Pierre Fauchard Academy, and Odontographic Society of Chicago; and he recently served as Immediate Past President of the Board of Trustees for the DALE Foundation, the official DANB affiliate.
Additionally, Dr. Maggio is an active member of the AADB, American Dental Education Association and American Academy of Periodontology. Among other activities, he is Chairman of the Dental Lifeline Network and a former Board member of the Illinois Board of Professional Regulation.
Dr. Maggio graduated from Loyola University School of Dentistry with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree; after completing military service in the U.S. Army, he earned his Certificate in Periodontics from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry.
Meagan Morton, CDA, B.S., was elected to DANB’s Board of Directors in August 2018, and is serving the second of a possible two three-year terms. DANB’s Board elected Ms. Morton from a slate of qualified nominees provided by the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA).
Ms. Morton currently works as a surgical dental assistant with Oral Surgery Group in Evansville, Indiana, where she has been employed since 2014.
Ms. Morton is a past president of the Evansville Dental Assistants Society and the Indiana Dental Assistants Association. Previously, from 2016-2017, she served as president-elect for these organizations; she also served as the Evansville Dental Assistants Society’s vice president from 2015-2016.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Indiana (USI). In 2015, Ms. Morton graduated from USI with an associate degree with a focus on dental assisting. Also in 2015, she earned DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification.
Ms. Morton is qualified in Indiana to perform coronal polishing and expanded functions, and she successfully completed the Dental Anesthesia Assistant National Certification Examination offered through the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Kimberly Plate, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, B.S., was elected to DANB’s Board of Directors in August 2021 and is serving the first of a possible two three-year terms. DANB’s Board elected Ms. Plate from among qualified nominees provided by the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA).
Ms. Plate, of Pingree Grove, Illinois, currently works as director of the dental assisting program at Elgin Community College (ECC). Ms. Plate previously worked as an ECC adjunct dental assisting faculty member from 1998 until assuming her director role there in 2004.
Additionally, Ms. Plate serves as an Accreditation Site Visitor/Consultant for the Commission on Dental Accreditation. She has nearly 40 years of dental assisting experience, specifically with working chairside, coordinating office infection prevention and control, and cross-training to fulfill office-management duties.
A longtime DANB certificant and ADAA member, Ms. Plate currently serves as a board member of the Illinois Dental Assistants Association, having previously served as its president-elect and past president. She has provided infection control oversight at past Illinois State Dental Society Mission of Mercy (MOM) dental events, and has held past roles as executive director, secretary and treasurer of a local Lutheran church in Elgin, Illinois. She currently sits on the advisory committee of the Visiting Nurse Association of Elgin, and has volunteered with MOM, Cub Scouts, and school parent-teacher associations.
Ms. Plate holds a Bachelor of Science degree in healthcare leadership from National Louis University, plus an Associate of Arts degree as well as a vocational certificate in Clinical Dental Assisting from ECC.
Esther R. Scherb
Esther R. Scherb, D.M.D., J.D., was elected as the public member on DANB’s Board of Directors in 2020 and is serving the first of two possible three-year terms. Dr. Scherb previously served as public member on DANB’s Board of Directors from 1999 to 2005.
The founder and current managing member of Scherb Law Firm PLLC in Washington, D.C., Dr. Scherb focuses her legal practice on healthcare and regulatory matters, with an emphasis on Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She regularly counsels clients on the myriad complex and dynamic reimbursement and compliance issues facing today’s healthcare and life sciences industries.
Prior to founding Scherb Law Firm, Dr. Scherb served as counsel for over 20 years at two leading global law firms. She has authored numerous articles and client alerts and has been a featured speaker on reimbursement and regulatory developments for the Practicing Law Institute, the American Bar Association, AdvaMed, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, the American Conference Institute and the Drug Information Association.
Previously in her career, Dr. Scherb served as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the General Counsel, as well as a dental officer for the U.S. Navy Dental Corps, providing general dental care to active-duty and retired military personnel, among other roles. Dr. Scherb retired from dental practice to focus solely on her legal practice in 1988.
Dr. Scherb is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, American Bar Association (for which she also served as the Health Law Section vice chair), District of Columbia Bar, and Virginia State Bar. She is also the founder and president of the Scherb Family Foundation.
Dr. Scherb holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Richmond School of Law, a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and a Bachelor of Science degree from City University of New York Brooklyn College.
Janée Tamayo, CDA, CPFDA, B.S., was elected to DANB’s Board of Directors in August 2021 as the Certificant-at-Large. She is serving the first of a possible two three-year terms.
Ms. Tamayo, of Honolulu, Hawaii, has worked as a dental assistant with the U.S. Air Force for nearly 10 years. She has worked as an Air Force dental assistant in Tampa, Florida; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her roles have included Dental Flight Chief at Schriever Dental Clinic at Schriever Air Force Base (with responsibilities including managing the daily clinical operations and logistics), Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Records and Reception, Clinical Flight Chief, Executive Assistant to the Commander of the 21st Medical Group, and Dental Technician.
Ms. Tamayo earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in dental assisting from the Community College of the Air Force, and a Bachelor of Science degree in sports and exercise science from American Military University. She is currently working toward a Master of Public Administration from American Military University.
She also has received extensive professional recognition. In August 2020, Ms. Tamayo earned the Humanitarian Service Medal from the 21st Medical Squadron. She also has received the Distinguished Graduate and Academic Achievement Award from the Vosler Non-Commissioned Officer Academy (2019) and the Distinguished Graduate and Commandant’s Leadership Award from Peterson Airman Leadership School (2015).
Additionally, in 2018, Ms. Tamayo was named Non-Commissioned Officer of the Quarter by the 21st Medical Squadron. In 2014, she was named Dental Airman of the Year by Air Force Dental Service, and in 2013, Airman of the Year by the 21st Space Wing.
Ms. Skarnulis became the Chief Executive Officer of DANB and the DALE Foundation on Aug. 16, 2021.
Ms. Skarnulis came to DANB and the DALE Foundation after serving for more than eight years as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), an organization that establishes the certification and continuing certification standards for its 24 Member Boards, certifying more than 920,000 physicians in one or more of the 40 specialties and 87 subspecialties offered.
As ABMS COO, Ms. Skarnulis was responsible for the oversight of the organization’s information technology services and database management system, marketing and communications, finance and audit, as well as new product development and international programs. Under her leadership, ABMS successfully created and launched an innovative longitudinal assessment platform that both transformed the user experience and delivered exceptional customer satisfaction. Ms. Skarnulis also created ABMS’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative focused on addressing systemic biases driving inequities of healthcare delivery, while concurrently serving as the leader of the organization’s pandemic response to COVID-19 ensuring the safety and well-being of staff while continuing to meet key strategic objectives and milestones.
Prior to her tenure at ABMS, Ms. Skarnulis served as Chief Operating and Financial Officer for the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. She joined United Way after more than nine years as the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration for the Arena Football League and its affiliate af2.Ms. Skarnulis received a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University and became a Certified Public Accountant. She was named a 2019 Notable Woman in Healthcare by Crain’s Chicago Business and was a finalist for the Financial Executives International’s CFO of the Year award in 2012.