New York Dental Assistant Requirements

Each state has different requirements for dental assistants. This page includes links to all the information you need to understand the requirements for dental assistants in this state. View the different dental assisting levels, along with the requirements for each. You can also view the allowable duties at each level.

New York Requirements

Dental Assistant Levels and Requirements


Dental Assistant with a Limited Permit

Registered Dental Assistant


Registered Dental Assistant Requirements

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 as a Registered Dental Assistant in the state of New York, one must:

1. Be at least 18 years of age, AND

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

3. Be of good moral character, as determined by the New York State Education Department, AND

4. 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

5. 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, either separately or together through the New York Combination Exam: NYPDA, ICE, and RHS, AND

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

Note: Dental assistants who have been granted a license in New York may identify themselves as “Registered Dental Assistant” or “RDA.”

Please note: Candidates not eligible for CDA certification may now take the three exams required for New York RDA licensure in one exam administration. To apply for the combined exam administration, select “RHS/ICE/NYPDA” on the exam application in the New York exam application packet.