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What is continuing education for a dental assistant?

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Quick Answer

Continuing education requirements for dental assistants vary by state dental board. In California as of 2015, for example, dental assistants must complete a minimum of 25 hours of continuing education during each license renewal period, excluding the first renewal period after becoming licensed.

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The 25 hours of continuing education required of California dental assistants must include two hours dedicated to the California Dental Practice Act and two hours studying California infection control policies. Licensees must also complete up to four hours in a basic life support class through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. Licensees who are audited by the Dental Board of California must submit proof that they are up to date on their continuing education requirements.

Continuing education requirements for dental assistants in Texas vary depending on the types and number of certificates they hold. An assistant who holds only a nitrous oxide monitoring certificate is not required to complete any continuing education, as of 2015. Someone holding one type of certificate, excluding the nitrous oxide monitoring certificate, must complete six hours of continuing education each year, while 12 hours are required of those with two or more certificates. Examples of certificate types include Registered Dental Assistant, coronal polishing, and pit and fissure sealant.

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