They are CDAs now: All dental assisting students pass national board exam

All 16 dental assistant students graduating this month from Metropolitan Community College have passed their national board exams.

Congratulations DA Class of 2017 on successfully passing your boards and getting your CDA credential.👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👩‍🎓

Posted by MCC-Penn Valley Health Science Institute on Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Program coordinator Dr. Hema Udupa says passing the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exam not only gives the students a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential but also allows them to apply for a state Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA) permit.

That Missouri permit “allows our students to perform advanced chairside skills at a dental office,” Udupa says.

“The trend I see from our graduate placements over the last three years is that dental practices are hiring graduates with CDA and EFDA permits more in their offices, and at higher pay scales.”

All 16 students will be earning certificates in dental assisting, a one-year program. Several in that group are also earning associate in applied science in dental assisting degrees, a two-year program.

Udupa says the dental assistant program has enjoyed “consistent 100 percent” pass rates on the national board exam for the last two years.

“I am extremely proud of the success and all the hard work on this, both by the students and the faculty,” she says.

MCC’s dental assistant program is the only accredited program in Greater Kansas City that is affiliated with the UMKC dental school and boasts a 100 percent pass rate on the national exam and a 100 percent graduation rate, Udupa says.

“That makes our program stand out in the area,” she adds.

The national exam has three parts. Students take two tests in the fall: Radiation Health and Safety, and Infection Control. The third is the General Chairside test, which is taken in the spring.

“This is a tough exam in general to pass, and the Radiation Health and Safety portion is the most challenging one,” Udupa says.

A student has to pass all three parts to earn the Certified Dental Assistant credential.

Dental assistants not only help the dentist during procedures but also prep the patient, sterilize and disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials during procedures and support office management.

Click here to learn more about MCC’s dental assistant program, which is offered at MCC-Penn Valley’s Health Science Institute.