Industry Recognized Credentials for Dental Assisting

Essential Safety IRC(s)

All programs must (1) prepare students to take and (2) provide an opportunity to achieve Essential credentials to all students in the program.  Credentials on the essential list are included based on the following criteria:

  1. The certification must have high-value currency in the market, which can be gained through various processes including transparency initiatives, general awareness, endorsements and validations, regulations, hiring policies and practices, and/or procedures that can be used to translate the credential into academic credit.
  2. Must lead to improved hiring outcomes and/or increased earnings for students who attain the credential.
  3. Credentials required for employment in program field must be included.


For this Program area, students must (1) prepare students to take and (2) provide an opportunity to achieve earn at least one of the listed Essential Program credentials.

CertificationCertifying Organization
OSHA 10 General IndustryOSHA
CPR for Health ProfessionalsAmerican Red Cross or American Heart Association

Essential Industry IRC(s)

All programs must (1) prepare students to take and (2) provide an opportunity to achieve at least one of the listed Essential Program Credentials.
  1. The certification must have high-value currency in the market, which can be gained through various processes including transparency initiatives, general awareness, endorsements and validations, regulations, hiring policies and practices, and/or procedures that can be used to translate the credential into academic credit.
  2. Must lead to improved hiring outcomes and/or increased earnings for students who attain the credential.
  3. Credentials required for employment in program field must be included.
For this Program area, students must (1) prepare students to take and (2) provide an opportunity to achieve earn at least one of the listed Essential Program credentials.
CertificationCertifying Organization
National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA)Dental Assisting National Board

Supplemental IRC(s)

Programs may choose to differentiate and expand upon their program by offering additional credentials. Credentials listed as Supplemental/Specialized may include:  

  • Credentials that are endorsed by local or regional industry associations or workforce boards
  • Must be attainable for students in the program who master the competencies outlined in the relevant Career Technical Education Framework such as an advanced/stacked credential above the essentials
  • May be equipment, tool, software or process specific if valued by industry.
CertificationCertifying OrganizationPostsecondary
Dental AssistantAmerican Medical TechnologistsX
Certified Dental AssistantDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Dental Assistant - General ChairsideDental Assisting National BoardX
Dental AssistantAmerican Medical TechnologistsX
Certified Dental AssistantDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Dental Assistant - General ChairsideDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Preventative Functions Dental AssistantDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant - Restorative FunctionsDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant - IsolationDental Assisting National BoardX
Dental Support Technician Certification American Medical Certification Association (One year full-time work experience required.)X
"Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant - Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology"Dental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Orthodontic AssistantDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Dental TechnicianNational Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory TechnologyX
Certified Dental Assistant - Radiation Health and SafetyDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant - ImpressionsDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Restorative Functions Dental AssistantDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant - TemporariesDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Dental Assistant - Coronal PolishDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Dental Assistant - Infection ControlDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Dental Assistant - SealantsDental Assisting National BoardX
Certified Dental Assistant- Topical FluorideDental Assisting National BoardX