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Basic Skills & CDA Exam

Missouri rule states that to be eligible to take Expanded Function courses, assistants must have proof of certification as a Certified Dental Assistant or a Certified Orthodontics Assistant (for Orthodontic EFDA only), or proof of passing the Missouri Test of Basic Dental Assisting Skills. All three of these pathways are available through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). 

Certified Dental Assistant 

Successful completion of the CDA exam will lead to a national certification that is highly valued by both employers and patients. The DANB website includes everything you need to know about this certification. Click to learn more.

Certified Orthodontic Assistant

Earning COA Certification helps orthodontic assistants stand out in the dental assisting profession. The DANB website includes everything you need to know about this certification. Click to learn more. The COA Certification satisfies the prerequisite for the Orthodontic EFDA only. 

Missouri Test of Basic Dental Assisting Skills

The Basic Skills Exam, an additional pathway for EFDA courses, also must be completed through DANB. The steps to taking the Basic Skills Exam are below:

  1. Candidates must mail/fax the complete the exam application for the Missouri Test of Basic Dental Assisting Skills, along with the $240 fee to DANB. Download your application here.
  2. Allow 3-4 weeks for DANB to process the exam application. If the exam application is accepted as complete, DANB mails the candidate a Test Admission Notice.
  3. The candidate has a 60-day window to schedule and take the exam at a Pearson Vue testing center. In some cases, you may be able to take the exam online in your home
  • Find the test center location nearest you here. 
    • Type “DANB” to select your program.
    • Click on “Find a Test Center” on the right side of the page.
    • There are currently testing centers in Columbia, Springfield, St. Louis/Illinois areas and Kansas City/Overland Park areas. 

4. After the exam appointment is scheduled the candidate will receive a confirmation via email (if the email address was provided) or regular mail from Pearson VUE.

  • Candidates should open and read all email and/or mail from Pearson VUE. 
  • There will be important information regarding the appointment. 

5. The candidate will receive preliminary results at the test center upon completing the exam. Official exam results will come approximately two to four weeks after the exam was administered. YOU MUST HAVE OFFICIAL RESULTS TO APPLY FOR YOUR EFDA PERMIT.

6. If you have not received your official exam results by mail within 4 weeks, contact DANB (within 90 days of your exam date) for results to be resent at no charge.

Retaking a Failed Exam

If the candidate takes an exam and does not pass, the candidate must reapply for the exam with a new application with any required documentation and fee in order to take the exam again.

Duplicate Certificate or Verification of Credentials

Duplicate certificates are available by submitting a DANB Request for Duplicate Certificate Form, along with a $50 fee, for each certificate. You also may verify and print your DANB issued credentials for free at this link.

Review Opportunities

Both of the reviews described below are provided by Ozarks Technical Community College.

Online Review for the Missouri Basic Skills Exam

This is a dental assisting review course conducted entirely by an online learning system. Once you enroll, you will have eight weeks to complete the self-paced course. Topics reviewed are: Oral Disease Prevention; Dental Materials; Medical Emergencies; Charts, Legal, Jurisprudence; Radiation Health and Safety; Infection Control; Tooth Morphology. Click here for course information and to enroll online. 

Hybrid Review for the CDA Exam

This study series offers a comprehensive review of current material and concepts essential in preparing the candidate for DANB CDA exam. The review is based on an analysis of the duties commonly performed in actual dental assisting practice and is a pathway to becoming an Expanded Function Dental Assistant. In addition to a review of online materials, the participant will attend three consecutive Saturday sessions from 9am to 3pm. The participant will have limited homework and the opportunity to take a simulated exam at the end of the course. Click here for course information and to enroll online. 

DANB CDA Recertification Requirements

While you can find the following information on the DANB website, it is somewhat complicated to easily access; therefore, we have placed the details of CDA recertification requirements below. Additionally the DANB Winter 2016 newsletter (PDF) has details on these requirements.

  • Must have 12 hours of CE in the subject area of Dental Assisting/Dentistry
    • Of this, 2 hours must be infection control specific
    • The federally mandated OSHA training (for which you must have an annual update) cannot be counted as the infection control requirement
  • Must have current BLS/CPR certification, but CE hours can’t be counted towards total CE hours