Is Registered Dental Assistant Much Different From a Certified Dental Assistant?

The dental assistant training involved in becoming a registered dental assistant (RDA) is basically the same as becoming a certified dental assistant (CDA). The same skills are taught but some states require a dental technician to be registered. However, there are some differences between the two. Which one is right for you will depend on your state requirements and your personal choice.

What is a registered vs certified dental technician? A registered dental assistant, is a dental technician that graduated from an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited dental assisting program. An RDA is also required to pass a written and clinical exam. The exam is quite comprehensive and the clinical portion of the exam is sometimes supervised through the state dental board. A certified dental technician is only required to attend and pass a dental assisting program. They may choose to take an exam, but they are not required to in order to receive their certification. A few states require that all dental assistants be registered.

How does one become each of them? In order to become a registered dental technician, you must make certain that the dental assisting program you enroll in is accredited by the American Dental Association. There are many programs that are, but there are also some that are not. You must also pass a written and clinical exam that is supervised by your states dental board. To become a certified dental technician, you must find a dental assisting program that grants a certificate after completion of the course. You can contact your local community college, trade school, or technical school to find out which type of programs they offer.

What is the difference? In most states, there is no difference between a registered vs. certified dental technician. A few states require their dental assisting technicians to be registered. The pay is generally the same for both an RDA and a CDA. The length of the program is generally the same too. The biggest difference is that RDAs are required to pass a comprehensive exam aside from the exams taken throughout their program. Some states do not require any education beyond a high school diploma. For more information on becoming a dental tech, contact your local community college to find out what the requirements in your state are.