Now available online: DANB’s 2020 state dental assisting requirements publications

To help dental professionals stay informed of the latest dental assisting requirements, the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) has updated its state dental assisting requirement publications:

  • DANB’s 2020 State Career Ladder Templates for Dental Assistants features easy-to-use charts with information on each state’s requirements and career paths for dental assistants. Each state chart highlights job designations; education, exam and training requirements; allowable functions; non-delegable functions; and levels of supervision required in each state. The volume also contains a chart summarizing dental assistants’ roles in sedation procedures.
  • DANB’s 2020 State Fact Booklet provides excerpts from state dental practice acts and regulations related specifically to the dental assistant, as well as dental board contact information, the number of DANB certificants in each state, comparative salary information, a synopsis of expanded functions and radiography requirements, excerpts of regulations addressing dental assistants’ roles in anesthesia and sedation, and a list of Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited dental assisting programs.

DANB exams are recognized or required by 37 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, dental assisting requirements vary from state to state, and there are more than 40 different job titles for dental assistants. As a result, comparing dental assisting requirements across states can be challenging.

“Dental professionals and state regulators need access to the most up-to-date information on dental assisting regulations, rules and requirements,” says DANB Executive Director Cynthia Durley, M.Ed., MBA. “DANB’s State Fact Booklet and Career Ladder Templates for Dental Assistants provide that critical information in an easy-to-access, easy-to-compare format.”

New features this year

This year, DANB is making these two publications available online. There are several benefits to the online publications, including the ability to:

  • Access the books from a desktop computer or mobile device 
  • Search the publications for keywords 
  • Jump directly to a state’s section using links in the table of contents

Also new this year, DANB has completed a total redesign of DANB’s State Career Ladder Templates for the 2020 edition. The new design was developed based on stakeholder feedback, with the goal of making the state templates more readable.

Additional online resources

  • Search-by-state online map. DANB publishes dental assisting requirements by state, which can be viewed on DANB’s search-by-state map featured on the DANB website. The search-by-state map links to comprehensive information on each state’s requirements for dental assistants, including job titles, recognition of DANB exams, and allowed and prohibited dental assisting functions.
    View the search-by-state map.
  • State dental practice act look-up tool. DANB provides an online tool that links to state dental practice acts, state statutes, regulations and administrative rules governing the practice of each member of the dental team. This tool was developed through a collaborative endeavor between the American Association of Dental Boards and DANB.
    View the state dental practice act look-up tool.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Katherine Landsberg, DANB’s Director, Government Relations, at