Above, Sara Rowse (second from right) works alongside peers from the Phoenix College EFDA course she completed in 2021.
As the dental assistants who hold DANB Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA) and Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA) certifications already know, reaching certification milestones is a rare achievement to be proud of.
Sara Rowse, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, AZEFDA-RF, embodies the spirit of professional commitment and going the extra mile. Within less than a year, she earned DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification and then quickly went on to earn CPFDA and CRFDA certification. She also became an expanded functions dental assistant in Arizona, with a certificate in restorative functions.
“Earning certification shows the care and concern I have for the patients and the team. Having the up-to-date knowledge to pass on to other assistants, to train them correctly, is very important to me.”
— Melanie Regan, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, CDIPC
Melanie Regan, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, CDIPC, agrees wholeheartedly that earning multiple certifications is a big reason to celebrate. Most recently, Regan earned Certified in Dental Infection Prevention and Control (CDIPC) certification, and she is one of only approximately 125 dental professionals to have done so.
For Regan, the importance of earning certifications in dental assisting — particularly in areas of specialization such as expanded functions and infection prevention and control — cannot be overstated.
“My employer wants our team to be educated and the best we can be, which really has inspired me to earn and maintain all the DANB certifications I have,” elaborates Regan, who has been Clinical Lead Dental Assistant at Jovan Prosthodontics in Texas for the past decade.
“I’m always wanting to achieve more, to show my employer I’m dedicated, concerned for the practice and patients, an awesome leader, and an awesome chairside assistant,” Regan continues. “The more I know, the more I can help patients.”
The benefits of going the extra mile
Those who hold DANB’s CPFDA and CRFDA certification demonstrate advanced knowledge and skill sets, which can make them especially valuable members of the dental team.
Rowse believes that by holding multiple DANB certifications, she’s now able to do more with patients in the dental office. She explains: “This frees up the doctor to be more available.”
“I sought certification to be able to do more and learn more. I’m always continuing to learn, even though I’ve spent 28 years in the profession and have studied dental assisting.”
— Sara Harrison, CDA, CRFDA
Sara Harrison, CDA, CRFDA, Lead Dental Assistant at Arlington Dentistry by Design in Virginia, agrees that holding two DANB certifications has elevated her career, hands down. “I sought certification to be able to do more and learn more. I’m always continuing to learn, even though I’ve spent 28 years in the profession and have studied dental assisting.”
Harrison looks forward to making a difference for her peers and patients not only as a DANB certificant, but also as president of the Virginia Dental Assistants Association. “I am hoping DANB certification prepares me for even greater, rewarding things in the profession!” adds the alumna of Clover Park Technical College in Washington.
Regan, who has worked in the dental assisting profession for 25 years, also knows that DANB certification has helped her stand out among her colleagues, including those up-and-coming dental assistants who now look to her as a leader. “DANB certification is prestigious,” Regan emphasizes. “Earning certification shows the care and concern I have for the patients and the team. Having the up-to-date knowledge to pass on to other assistants, to train them correctly, is very important to me.”
“I absolutely feel DANB certifications will continue to help me to accomplish all my goals. My career is just beginning, and I’m excited to see where the journey takes me!”
— Sara Rowse, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, AZEFDA-RF
Rowse, a dental assistant for five years, has seen firsthand the benefits of mentorship and learning in dental assisting. She believes knowledge can propel a dental assistant’s career forward. Even in the short time she’s spent in the dental assisting profession, Rowse has reached the position of Expanded Functions Lead Dental Assistant at Riggs Family Dental in Arizona, thanks to her motivation, training and earned DANB certifications. Long-term, one of Rowe’s top goals is to become a clinical manager and educator.
She knows the path forward is through maintaining DANB certification.
“I absolutely feel DANB certifications will continue to help me to accomplish all my goals,” Rowse says with confidence. “My career is just beginning, and I’m excited to see where the journey takes me!”