Build Your Credentials

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To earn DANB certification, it is not necessary to take all of the component exams in one sitting. If you’re interested in earning DANB certification but do not meet the eligibility requirements of one or more of the component exams, or need more flexibility to fit your budget, schedule and career goals, DANB offers options to meet your needs.

DANB National Certification Exams Consist of Component Exams

Each DANB certification exam consists of two or more component exams:

  • NELDA: Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (AMP); Infection Control (ICE); and Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) component exams
  • CDA: General Chairside (GC), Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and Infection Control (ICE) component exams
  • COA: Orthodontic Assisting (OA) and Infection Control (ICE) component exams
  • CPFDA: Coronal Polishing (CP), Sealants (SE) and Topical Fluoride (TF) component exams
  • CRFDA: Impressions (IM); Temporaries (TMP); Sealants (SE); and Restorative Functions (RF) component exams

Not All Component Exams Have Eligibility Requirements

There are eligibility requirements to take certain component exams, such as the GC, OA and RF. These eligibility pathways might include 3,500 hours of approved work experience, graduation from a CODA-accredited program or other requirements in order to apply. However, there are no eligibility requirements for the RHS and ICE exams. Start with one of these component exams, and you’re on your way to becoming certified!

Check Exam Eligibility Requirements

Focus Your Studies on One Exam at a Time

Some candidates prefer to concentrate their studies on one exam at a time. DANB offers flexibility when it comes to earning certification by allowing you to take one component exam at a time. This flexibility gives you more breathing room for the other responsibilities you have in your life.

Pass All Component Exams Within 3–5 Years

As long as you pass all required component exams within a five-year period, you can earn DANB CDA or COA certification. NELDA, CPFDA or CRFDA candidates must pass all components within a three-year period. DANB certificants enjoy enhanced employment opportunities and greater earning potential. Apply for a DANB exam today to begin building your credentials!

Find Out More About DANB’s Exams and Certifications 

It makes me proud to say I am a CDA. My advice to other dental assistants would be to become certified. It not only supports you better financially, it also is rewarding when your patients know that you took that ‘extra step’ in learning more about the profession that you are in.”
Rhonda M. Peterson, CDA Marble, NC Certified for 15 Years