Dental Assistant Overview

Dental Assistant Renewal |  NEW Regulations - Effective 7/1/2022Name & Address Changes | RDA | QDA | CoronavirusMilitary SpouseNon-registered Dental Assistant | Fluoride VarnishReport or Self-Report 

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Registered and Qualified Dental Assistants must renew registrations by December 31 of odd numbered years. IF you have failed to meet the deadline please call the Board's office.  701-258-8600 or contact the Board by emailing

New Administrative Rules - Effective 7/1/2022

Chapter 20-01-01        ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD

Chapter 20-01-02        DEFINITIONS

Chapter 20-02-01        DENTISTS  - GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Chapter 20-03-01         DENTAL ASSISTANTS  -  DUTIES 

Chapter 20-04-01         DENTAL HYGIENISTS  -  DUTIES

Chapter 20-05-01         FEES

Name and Address Changes 

Update your name and address now!
Name and address changes may be now submitted online with the link above. The name change document (marriage license, section in the divorce decree, etc.) will need to be uploaded to the website. The Board will no longer send out new certificates. You may now print your registration certificate. A name or address change cannot be taken by phone and must be submitted to the Board's office in writing.  If you are unable to use the website to update your information, you may still submitted changes in writing or by email. If you need a license certificate mailed to you, please email the Board's office. 

A Reminder about the RDA Duties

A Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) is NOT authorized to adjust any type of permanent appliance such as a denture or partial denture. However along similar lines, included in registered dental assistant duties: 

     *Under the 
direct supervision of a dentist an RDA may adjust a permanent crown outside of the mouth.  An RDA may not adjust a permanent crown once the crown has been cemented by the dentist. 

     *Under direct, indirect or general supervision of a dentist an RDA may fabricate, adjust, place, recement, or remove a TEMPORARY crown, temp. bridge, or temp onlay or  TEMPORARY restorative material. This applies only to dentitions actively under treatment for permanent restorations. 

All dental assisting duties may be found in the Administrative Rules .

RDA - Registered Dental Assistant

The RDA credential may be granted to a dental assistant who has successfully completed either a formal education through an academic program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) or a dental assisting program approved by the Board. The RDA credential may also be achieved by successfully completing the knowledge-based competency dental assisting exam administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) as a pathway to becoming registered as an RDA. 

Expanded Functions - Applications Required for Permits

An RDA may be authorized to provide sealants and monitor nitrous oxide after first submitting proof of successful completion a formal education program or a board approved course.   An RDA may be authorized by permit to provide restorative or anesthesia assistant duties and, as of 7/1/2022 also may become authorized to administer nitrous oxide inhalation analgesia. Requirements of permit applications for RDA expanded duties, education and competency testing are provided in the Administrative Rule 20-03-01-01.1. 

Administration of Nitrous Oxide Inhalation Therapy - Courses Board Approved  

 North Dakota State College of Science Nitrous Oxide Course
 Essentials of Nitrous Oxide for Dentistry ONLINE


QDA - Qualified Dental Assistant 

The Board may grant registration as a QDA to an applicant meeting one of the requirements:

1. The applicant passed the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA contains RHS, ICE, and AMP exams) certification administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and completed three hundred hours of on-the-job clinical training within one year of application; or
2. The applicant passed the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA contains RHS, ICE, and AMP exams) certification administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), three hundred hours of on-the-job clinical training, and completed, within two years before application, sixteen hours of continuing education in accordance with section 20-03-01-06; or,
3. The applicant successfully completed the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA contains RHS, ICE, and AMP exams) certification administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and successfully completed the North Dakota department of career and technical education dental assisting education program association; or
4. The applicant successfully completed a board-approved equivalent course within one year of application.

              **** AND the applicant must complete all of the following requirements:

  • The applicant must pass a written examination on the laws and rules (Jurisprudence Exam) governing the practice of dentistry in North Dakota within one year of application.
  • The applicant must successfully complete a cardiopulmonary resuscitation course within two years of application.
  • Grounds for denial of the application under North Dakota Century Code section 43-20-05 do not exist.   

Initial Registration Fee vs. Biennial Renewal Fee

Both fees are required in order to obtain and maintain a license and registration with the ND Board of Dental Examiners. The initial registration application fee of $145 is paid to initiate administrative processes and verifications that must be completed by the Board’s administrative office. The renewal fee of $110, grants the registration for the following two year period. Failure to pay the renewal fee will cause the registration to expire and assessment of a late fee of $110. 

If a dental assistant fails to renew the registration by December 31st of even numbered years, the dental assistant may not provide expanded duties. Within 60 days after December 31st of the even numbered year, an expired registration may be renewed by submitting the renewal application, the application fee, late fee and proof of continuing education. 

COVID-19 | Coronavirus

The North Dakota Board of Dental Examiners answers questions about the Coronavirus and how you can be one step ahead. Are you using the correct type of personal protective equipment (PPE) ?  The PPE depends upon the procedures being performed. Under OSHA, PPE is considered “appropriate” only if it does not permit blood or other potentially infectious materials to pass through to or reach the employee's work clothes, street clothes, undergarments, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes under normal conditions of use and for the duration of time which the protective equipment will be used. For more information regarding recommendations and requirements of the CDC related to the coronavirus, click here.

Military Spouses

Requirements of Temporary License for Military Spouses

1. The North Dakota Board of Dental Examiners (the Board) shall grant on a case-by-case basis exceptions to the Board's licensing standards to allow a military spouse to practice the occupation or profession in the state if upon application to the board:

  • a. The military spouse demonstrates competency in the occupation or profession through methods or standards determined by the Board which must include experience in the occupation or profession for at least two of the four years preceding the date of application under this section; and
  • b. The Board determines the issuance of the license will not substantially increase the risk of harm to the public. The Board has authority to require an applicant to submit to a statewide and national criminal history record check under section 12-60-24 may order such a record check under this subdivision.

2. The Board shall issue a provisional license or temporary permit to a military spouse for which the licensure requirements under subsection 1 have been substantially met. A board may not charge a military spouse any fees for a provisional license or temporary permit under this subsection. A provisional license or temporary permit issued under this subsection may not exceed two years and remains valid while the military spouse is making progress toward satisfying the unmet licensure requirements. A military spouse may practice under a provisional license or temporary permit issued under this subsection until any of the following occurs:

  • The Board grants or denies the military spouse a North Dakota license under subsection 1 or grants a North Dakota license under the traditional licensure method;
  • The provisional license or temporary permit expires;
  • The military spouse fails to comply with the terms of the provisional license or temporary permit; or
  • The Board revokes the provisional license or temporary permit based on a determination revocation is necessary to protect the health and safety of the residents of the state.

3. The Board that may elect to subject the Board to this chapter under subsection 1 of section 43-51-01 may issue a license, provisional license, or temporary permit to a military spouse in the same manner as provided under subsections 1 and 2 regardless of whether the Board has adopted rules to subject the Board to this chapter.

4. A military spouse issued a license under this section has the same rights and duties as a licensee issued a license under the traditional licensure method.

5. If within thirty days of receipt of a completed application under subsection 1 the Board does not grant or deny a license under subsection 1 or does not issue a provisional license or temporary permit under subsection 2, the Board automatically shall issue a provisional license or temporary permit. A provisional license or temporary permit issued under this subsection remains valid until the Board grants or denies the application for licensure under subsection 1 or issues a provisional license or temporary permit under subsection 2.

Non-registered Dental Assistant

Non-registered dental assistants may perform the following duties under the direct supervision of a dentist. Non-registered dental assistants are not authorized to provide expanded duties.

1. Take and record pulse, blood pressure and temperature.
2. Take and record preliminary dental and medical history for the interpretation by the dentist.
3. Apply topical mediations and drugs to oral tissues, including topical anesthetic.
4. Receive removable dental prosthesis for cleaning or repair.
5. Take impressions for study casts.
6. Hold impression trays in the mouth (such as reversible hydrocolloids or rubber base).
7. Retract patient's cheek, tongue, or other tissue parts during a dental procedure.
8. Remove such debris as is normally created in the course of treatment during or after dental procedures by vacuum devices, compressed air, mouthwashes, and water.
9. Isolate the operative field, not to include rubber dams.
10. Hold a curing light for any dental procedure. Curing lights may not include a laser capable of cutting, burning, or damaging hard or soft tissue or for electrosurgery for tissue retraction.

The Board cannot take disciplinary action against a non-registered dental assistant for violations of the law, for example providing unauthorized expanded duties. However, the dentist/employer is accountable for actions of all auxiliary whether registered or non-registered. 

Fluoride Varnish

The North Dakota Century Code authorizes a registered dental assistant or registered dental hygienist to provide fluoride varnish under general supervision of a physician or licensed dentist.

NDCC 43-28-02(6) "To a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, registered dental hygienist, or registered dental assistant who is applying topical fluoride varnish to an individual and is acting under the direct or general supervision of a physician or licensed dentist if the registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, registered dental hygienist, or registered dental assistant has successfully completed a training program approved by the board."

The purpose of applying fluoride varnish is to retard, arrest, and reverse the process of cavity formation. Fluoride varnish application is indicated for infants and children with a moderate or high risk of developing cavities. 

Training approved by the Board of Dental Examiners includes fluoride varnish training received from an accredited dental assisting program. Smiles for Life Caries Risk Assessment, Fluoride Varnish & Counseling is a one hour course, accepted for NDBDE CE requirements with the completion of the optional clinical cases, post assessment and the certificate of completion:

Fluoride varnish information and application instructions are available online: Fluoride varnish in the Child and Teen Checkups setting - MN Dept. of Health (  For a demonstration on application, go to the MN Oral Health coalition and MN Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics video:  

Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certification                    

DANB certification does not authorize a dental assistant to perform expanded duties. Dental assistants who obtain DANB certification must first register with the Board prior to providing expanded functions.   

Reporting | Self-report 

According to laws governing reporting, a licensee must report to the Board in writing within sixty days of the event any illegal, unethical, or errant behavior or conduct of the dentist, including malpractice judgements or settlements or final judgment for or against the licensee, a final disposition by a licensing agency in another state, territory, or country; all proceedings, of formal or informal actions by a governmental agency; a law enforcement agency; or a court for an act or conduct that would constitute grounds for discipline.

During the renewal or initial application of a dental assisting registration, If you have a conviction, or any other incident to report as required by application,  send with the application supporting documentation and/or certified copies of all court documents related to the matter discussed in the petition. Documentation includes, as applicable, a copy of any assessment or evaluation and recommendations for treatment, criminal charges, reported offenses, police reports, judgments, dispositions of criminal complaint, dispositions of offenses, final dispositions, court orders, actions pending, and deferred judgments. Not doing so may delay the registration process.