What Are the Rules and Requirements for Dental Assistants in PA?

dental assisting training pennsylvania
dental assisting training pennsylvania

What Are the Rules and Requirements for Dental Assistants in PA?

Do you like to help people? Are you organized? Does dental care interest you? If the answer to these questions is yes, yes, yes! then a career as a Dental Assistant may be the right fit for you. A dental assistant helps both the dentist and the patients. But if you want to be part of this rewarding profession, you’ll need to know about the rules for Dental Assistant in Pennsylvania:

Requirements to Be a Dental Assistant in Pennsylvania

To be a Pennsylvania Dental Assistant, you need to be at least 18 years old and legally allowed to work in the U.S. You will need to work under the supervision of licensed dental professionals. You may need to undergo a background check. You also need to get certified on how to work around X-Rays. To attain the required radiological certification, you’ll need to pass the Radiation Health and Safety examination. The exam is made up of multiple-choice questions on important rules and procedures like infection control, patient and operator safety, and quality control. The exam cost is $250 and is administered through Pearson VUE computerized testing centers.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, a Dental Assistant helps at the front of the dental office and behind the scenes. You might work with a single dentist or a whole dental practice. You might answer phones and schedule appointments, greet patients when they enter the office, and help them feel comfortable in the dental chair. You would also:

  • Hand tools to the dentist during a procedure
  • Clean and sterilize tools and equipment
  • Educate patients on oral health
  • Keep records of dental treatments

Since it’s so important to keep equipment and tools clean, sterilized, and safe, you might need to perform infection control tasks. You would need to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for dental settings  and occupational safety procedures. Especially in light of the COVID-19 virus, it’s critical that you pay close attention to how you clean and sterilize.

What Dental Assistants Can’t Do in Pennsylvania

You’ll gain a lot of knowledge and experience as a Dental Assistant in Pennsylvania, but there are some tasks that you will not be allowed to perform. They include:

  • Examine, diagnose, and treat patients
  • Take teeth impressions
  • Perform surgical procedures
  • Cut hard or soft tissue
  • Prescribe medication
  • Perform local anesthesia
  • Place and adjust prosthetic appliances


Do you want to begin a rewarding career in the dental field? Dental Assistants are expected to be in demand through 2028. And in a state like Pennsylvania, there are lot of them! PA employs more than 11,000 Dental Assistants. You can train to become a Dental Assistant at YTI Career Institute in Pennsylvania. Our program will prepare you for a career in the field through hands-on experience. Our industry-modeled labs feature tools and equipment you would use on the job, and you’ll gain practical skills and knowledge through an externship at a dental office. Are you ready to get started? Request more information today.