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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 packet.
  2. Allow up to 2 weeks for DANB to process the exam application. Once your application is approved, you will receive a notification from DANB by email that provides a link to schedule your exam at a test center or through online remote proctoring.
  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

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 exam results are available by submitting a DANB Duplicate Exam Result Request, along with a $50 fee. You also may also be able to verify and print your DANB issued credentials for free at this link.

Review Opportunities

The Missouri Dental Association now offers an IN PERSON review course will prepare the dental assistant to take the Missouri Test of Basic Dental Assisting Skills (MBDA), which is a pathway in Missouri to becoming certified in Expanded Functions. Topics discussed will follow the DANB exam outline, which includes questions on oral disease prevention; dental materials; medical emergencies; charts/legal/jurisprudence; radiation health and safety; infection control; and, tooth morphology.  PLEASE NOTE: This is a REVIEW ONLY of the Missouri Basic Skills Exam. 

Course Format & Study Aides

During this course, the group will have open dialogue about common topics covered on the exam. Each assistant will be provided a set of topical flashcards. The group will discuss each topic, while assistants make their own notes on each flashcard, which can be used later for self-study and review. After the initial review and discussion, a practice test will be given to each assistant. After completion, assistants will self-grade tests openly, while allowing for additional Q&A time on topics that may need deeper analysis. After completion, the practice test will serve as an additional study guide for the assistant. In addition, a short overview of the EFDA programs and processes will be given at the conclusion of the program, including time for Q&A.

Click here for more information and to register for the course. 

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