Dental Assistant

 
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What would you like to do?

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What you need to know

Per Legislative Bill 18, dental assistants working in a dental office may continue working in an unlicensed status or pursue a license as a dental assistant professional in the office.

An unlicensed dental assistant, when employed by a licensed dentist, is authorized to assist the dentist in the performance of his/her clinical-related duties. The unlicensed dental assistant is restricted to performing the following duties or functions.

When a supervising licensed dentist is physically present on the premises, the unlicensed dental assistant may:

  • Monitor nitrous oxide if the dental assistant has a current and valid board-approved certification for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) 
  • Place topical local anesthesia
  • Perform dental x-rays or coronal polishing, upon meeting the education or experience requirements below:

X-Ray Requirements for Unlicensed Dental Assistants

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have either:
    • Successfully completed one of the following schools' Dental Radiography courses:
      • University of Nebraska College of Dentistry, Lincoln
      • Creighton University School of Dentistry, Omaha
      • Central Community College, Hastings
    • Passed the national certification exam for dental assistants (CDA) offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) - more information here
    • Successfully completed an ADA-accredited dental assisting course which provides training in dental radiography as part of its curriculum

Coronal Polishing Requirements for Unlicensed Dental Assistants

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have either:
    • Graduated from an ADA program that includes coronal polishing; or
    • One year (1,500 hours) of clinical work experience as a dental assistant and successfully completed a board-approved course in polishing procedures

A Licensed Dental Assistant is allowed to perform all clinical duties as listed for an unlicensed dental assistant and, upon completion of education and testing, may apply for additional permits. 

Licensed Dental Assistant Application Procedures & Requirements

A Licensed Dental Assistant qualifies by 1) having passed the Certification Exam for Dental Assistants (CDA)* offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and 2) either

  • Graduating from an accredited dental assisting program or school** or
  • Earning 1,500 hours of experience as a dental assistant within the past five years 
    Employment Verification form

Application for License to Practice as a Dental Assistant

License by Examination - Individuals who have taken and passed the CDA certification exam offered by DANB.

License by Reciprocity – Individuals who have been licensed in another state/jurisdiction and actively practiced dental assistance for at least three years (one of those years must be within the last three years).

All applicants are required to successfully complete the Nebraska dental assistant jurisprudence examination with a minimum score of 75 percent.

Verification of CDA credential must be sent directly from DANB to our office. Verification may be mailed to:

 DHHS - Division of Public Health
 Licensure Unit
 PO Box 94986
 Lincoln, NE 68509-4986

or emailed to: DHHS.MedicalOffice@nebraska.gov

* Information about the CDA exam, including eligibility requirements, can be found here.

** Training, education, or service gained while a member of the armed forces of the United States may be accepted toward the minimum standards of a credential upon submission of satisfactory evidence of substantial similarity to the education required for the credential. (Nebr. Rev. Statute § 38-1,141.) 

Continuing Education

Thirty (30) hours of acceptable continuing education earned during the preceding 24-month period prior to the license expiration date are required to renew your license.

A continuing education audit will be performed after the renewal. If you are randomly selected for an audit to provide proof of continuing education, you will be notified by mail at a later date.

Retain all documentation of continuing education activities completed for the renewal of your credential for at least 4 years.

All general anesthesia/deep sedation/moderate sedation permit holders are required to attend at least 6 hours of continuing education directly related to the administration and management of anesthesia/sedation for the dental office.

The Board of Dentistry expects licensees to attend acceptable continuing education courses.  Acceptable continuing education courses are located in 172 NAC 56.

***Do NOT submit continuing education certificates to this office unless you are requested to do so.***

Renewal & Reinstatement Information

Renewal

  • Licenses are renewable March 1 of odd-numbered years.
  • License may be placed on Inactive Status at any time.

Reinstatement

Reinstating from Inactive or Expired Status:

Dental Reinstatement Application

General Anesthesia/Deep Sedation Reinstatement Application

Moderate Sedation Reinstatement Application

Minimal Sedation Reinstatement Application

For Reinstatements After Disciplinary Action please contact Vonda Apking at (402) 471-2118 or by e-mail at vonda.apking@nebraska.gov

Regulations and Statutes

Regulations:

  • Practice of Dentistry - 172 NAC 56
  • Performance of Duties by Licensed Dental Hygienists and other Dental Auxiliaries – 172 NAC 53
  • Professional Advertising by Dentists – 172 NAC 54
  • Dental Office Maintenance – 172 NAC 55
  • Practice of Dental Hygienists Approved to Administer Local Anesthesia – 172 NAC 57
  • Dental faculty Licenses – 172 NAC 58
  • Regulations relating to Mandatory Reporting

Statutes:

  • Uniform Credentialing Act
  • Statutes Relating to Dentistry

Expanded Scope Function for Licensed Dental Assistants

Dental Assistants can apply for the following expanded scope functions to be added to their dental assistant license after completing an educational course for each expanded scope function: 
  • Dental Impressions for Fixed Prosthodontics
  • Dental Impressions and Minor Adjustments for Removable Prostheses
  • Cement Prefabricated Fixed Prostheses on Primary Teeth
  • Monitoring and Administration of Nitrous Oxide

Application for Expanded Scope Function for Dental Assistants

A supervising licensed dentist must be physically on the premises during any procedure.

Expanded Function Requirements

The Nebraska Board of Dentistry is currently developing regulations for Expanded Function Restorative Level I and Level II permits established by Legislative Bill 18 (signed March 28, 2017).

Expanded Function Restorative Level I Permit

Application for Level I Permit

A Licensed Dental Assistant or Licensed Dental Hygienist who holds a permit may place simple restorations (one surface) when a supervising licensed dentist is physically present on the premises.

An applicant for an Expanded Function Level I Restoration permit must:

  • Hold a current valid Nebraska Dental Assistant license or Nebraska Dental Hygienist license
  • Have a minimum of 1,500 hours experience as a Licensed Dental Assistant or Licensed Dental Hygienist
  • Successfully complete the Nebraska Expanded Function jurisprudence examination with a minimum score of 75%
  • Successfully complete a relevant board-approved course
  • Pass the relevant section of a board-approved practical examination

Expanded Function Restorative Level II Permit

Application for Level II Permit

A Licensed Dental Assistant or Licensed Dental Hygienist who holds a permit may place complex restorations (multiple surfaces) when a supervising licensed dentist is physically present on the premises.

An applicant for an Expanded Function Level II Restoration permit must:

  • Hold a current valid Nebraska Dental Assistant license or Nebraska Dental Hygienist license
  • Hold a current valid Nebraska Expanded Function Level I permit
  • Successfully complete the Nebraska Expanded Function jurisprudence examination with a minimum score of 75%
  • Successfully complete a relevant board-approved course
  • Pass the relevant section of a board-approved practical examination

Expanded Function Jurisprudence Exam for Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistants

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