New York State Requirements

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Radiography Requirements

There are no radiography requirements for dental assistants in the state of New York. All dental assistants may legally operate routine oral radiography and panoramic radiographic dental equipment under the supervision of a licensed dentist. A dental assistant may operate conebeam computed tomography (CBCT) equipment under the direct supervision of a dentist after demonstrating satisfactory completion of a training program approved by the Department of Health or provided by the manufacturer.

    Dental Assisting Job Titles and Requirements for Each Level

    • Unlicensed Dental Assistant

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

    • Dental Assistant with a Limited Permit

      A person who has met the following requirements may apply for a limited (one-year) permit prior to taking and passing the exam requirements to be a licensed certified dental assistant. 

      1.  Be at least 17 years of age, AND

      2.  Be a high school graduate or its equivalent, AND

      3.  Successfully complete one of these two education options:

      a. A New York-approved one-year course of study in dental assisting, consisting of 24 semester hours, in a degree-granting institution or a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) program that includes at least 200 hours of clinical experience or an equivalent approved course of study in dental assisting in a non-degree granting institution which shall not be a professional association or professional organization, OR  

      b.  An alternate course of study in dental assisting acceptable to the New York State Education Department that includes at least 1,000 hours of relevant work experience in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations.

      A limited permitee may perform all tasks designated to New York state-licensed "certified dental assistants," under the direct personal supervision of a licensed dentist.  The permit expires after one year and may be renewed for an additional year.

    • New York State-Licensed "certified dental assistant"

      A dental assistant in the state of New York must be licensed in order to perform supportive services under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. To be licensed in the state of New York, one must:

      1.  Be at least 17 years of age, AND

      2.  Be a high school graduate or its equivalent, AND

      3.  Successfully complete one of these two education options:

      a. A New York-approved one-year course of study in dental assisting, consisting of 24 semester hours, in a degree-granting institution or a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) program that includes at least 200 hours of clinical experience or an equivalent approved course of study in dental assisting in a non-degree granting institution which shall not be a professional association or professional organization, OR  

      b.  An alternate course of study in dental assisting acceptable to the New York State Education Department that includes at least 1,000 hours of relevant work experience in accordance with the Commissioner’s regulations, AND

      4.  Successfully complete one of the following two exam pathways:

      a.  PATHWAY I: Pass all three components of the national DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam: Radiation Health and Safety (RHS), Infection Control (ICE), and General Chairside (GC), or 

      b.  PATHWAY II: Pass DANB’s RHS and ICE component exams along with the New York Professional Dental Assisting (NYPDA) exam, AND 

      5.  Apply for licensure from the New York State Education Department after completing all of the above requirements.

      Note: A New York State licensed "certified dental assistant" may or may not be a DANB CDA. Only those who pass DANB's CDA exam and maintain the certification are eligible to use the "CDA" designation. The NYSDB recognizes that state licensed “certified dental assistants” may use “RDA” after their names to identify that they are licensed and registered to practice as a dental assistant in the state of New York, if they so desire.

      ***Note on Sterilization Certification Requirement Affecting Some Dental Assistants***
      In its 2013 session, the New York State legislature passed a law requiring technicians who perform instrument sterilization in hospitals and in diagnostic and treatment centers offering ambulatory surgical services to hold one of two central services certifications – the Certified Registered Central Service Technician (CRCST) credential from the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) or the Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT) certification from the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD).
      Licensed healthcare professionals, including dental assistants, working within their scope of practice are exempt from this requirement, which became effective January 1, 2015. The New York State Dental Association has issued a memo to its members indicating that dental assistants who perform instrument sterilization in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center and who are not New York State Licensed “certified dental assistants” must earn one of the required certifications and complete annual continuing education requirements. The New York State Dental Association does not believe that dental assistants working in private dental offices are subject to these requirements.

      New York Professional Dental Assisting (NYPDA) Exam Application (PDF) 
      Learn more about DANB's Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification 
      Learn more about DANB's Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam 
      Learn more about DANB's Infection Control (ICE) exam