When you join the national organization, the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA), you automatically become a member of your state association (CDAA) and a local dental assistant society (Local Society) in your area. The application can be completed online at the ADAA’s website.
There is a complete listing of the benefits provided by the ADAA to its members – and they are typical of member organizations. There are, however, also benefits that are like the commercial – “priceless” – things like liability insurance; having people on a national and state level representing your interests and advancing the profession of dental assisting for you; the ability to network and connect with other professionals in your area and around the country (check out our Facebook page!); 24/7 (a weekly e-newsletter) and our Journal.
In addition to all the benefits provided at the national level, the state Association provides:
* Representation before state regulatory bodies on dental assisting issues and
continues to advocate for the profession.
* Opportunity to obtain Continuing Education Units through a local society
* Opportunity to develop network in the dental community
* Subscription to the “CDAA Journal”
Local Society Benefits (varies with each local society)
* Continuing Education Units
* Activities with other dental assisting professionals in your area
* Local Director represents your voice in CDAA
* Interaction with local dental organizations and related industries
* Local Newsletter
A dental assistant is NOT licensed and has a more limited scope of practice (the list of things they can do), which means they will be earning less. A dental assistant is also not required to earn continuing education.
An RDA has a broader scope of practice, but must pass a Combined Written Exam to earn the license after qualifying.
An RDAEF is earned through additional education/testing and have additional duties they are allowed to perform on the patient.
State regulations define the duties that may be performed by each of these dental assistant levels. A listing of these duties can be found here.