What Is the Standard for Becoming an RDA?

What Is the Standard for Becoming an RDA?

dental assisting career is necessary and in high demand in the healthcare industry.

A fundamental steppingstone towards this path is passing the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Exam — proving you’re ready to handle the responsibilities of this profession.

In this simple guide, we’ll help you understand the requirements and exam structure of the RDA exam, so you can focus your preparation accordingly.

What Are the Requirements to Take the RDA Exam?

Stepping into the dental assisting field demands a certain level of proficiency, achieved through formal education and training.

Before you can sit for the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Exam, you need to meet a few eligibility requirements. These will depend on your state of residency but often include:

  • Completion of a dental assistant program from an accredited institution
  • Holding a valid certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic life support (BLS) techniques
  • Certain states may require a specified duration of work experience

Opting for a quality dental assistant program like the one offered at PCI Health Training Center can help you effectively prepare for the upcoming RDA Exam.

What Is on the RDA Exam?

The RDA Exam assesses your knowledge and skills necessary to perform various tasks and responsibilities within dentistry. Subjects on the exam are comprehensive, but can be broadly divided into four significant focus areas:

  1. Dental Sciences: This segment is the intellectually demanding category on the RDA Exam. It tests your core knowledge in dentistry — dental terminologies, dental hygiene practices, administering local anesthesia, handling medical emergencies, and infection control procedures.
  2. Dental Assisting Procedures: This part assesses your ability to apply clinical-based knowledge and also takes up a good portion of the exam. Topics include dental equipment and tools, chairside procedures, insight into dental specialties, and ensuring laboratory safety.
  3. Dental Radiography: This covers almost 25% of the RDA Exam in four sections. You’ll need to show proficiency in the principles and theories behind dental radiography, execution of imaging techniques, developing and mounting radiographic film, and ensuring safety while using radiographs.
  4. Office Assisting Skills: This is the smallest section and covers office procedures, managing and ensuring effective communication with patients, and adhering to professional ethics and conduct in a dental office.

The exam consists of over 200 questions asked in formats that may include situational/ scenario-based, fill-in-the-blank, or matching questions.

Exam preparation is an important step, and it would be wise to review relevant dental assisting concepts, practice exam questions, and familiarize yourself with the exam test prep materials.

What Is the Passing Score for the Dental Assistant Exam?

For anyone attending a dental assistant program and preparing for the RDA Exam, understanding the scoring system can help you study more effectively.

All candidates need to receive a score of 75% or higher to pass this exam. The actual score is not released — only pass or fail results are provided.

Let PCI Support Your Dental Assisting Career Goals

Becoming a dental assistant isn’t just about passing an exam, it involves building a foundation of knowledge and skills, allowing you to deliver top-notch patient care.

PCI Health Training Center can help you gain relevant dental assisting skills in dental procedures, administrative tasks with dental software, and performing X-rays.

Looking for a dental assistant program near me? Enroll in our dental assistant program today and turn your dental career ambitions into a reality.