National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) Certification
What is the NELDA certification?
The NELDA certification is designed to test the knowledge and skills of entry-level dental assistants. It assesses a candidate’s proficiency in four areas: infection control, chairside dental assisting, radiography, and general dentistry office management.
Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be eligible for the NELDA certification. They must also complete a dental assisting program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) or have at least 1,000 hours of work experience as a dental assistant.
Exam format: The NELDA exam is computer-based and consists of four components, each of which assesses a different area of knowledge and skill: infection control, chairside dental assisting, radiography, and general dentistry office management.
Exam length: The exam is approximately 3.5 hours long, and candidates must complete all four components during the testing session.
Question types: The exam consists of multiple-choice questions, with each component containing between 50 and 75 questions.
Scoring: The NELDA exam is scored on a pass/fail basis. Candidates must achieve a passing score on each component to earn the certification.
Exam preparation: The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), which administers the NELDA certification, offers a variety of resources to help candidates prepare for the exam, including study guides, practice exams, and online courses.
Exam retake policy: Candidates who do not pass the NELDA exam on their first attempt can retake the exam, but they must wait 60 days before scheduling their next testing session.
What are the benefits of the NELDA certification?
Obtaining the NELDA certification can demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and ongoing education in dental assisting. It can also potentially lead to higher pay and better job opportunities.
How long is the NELDA certification valid?
The NELDA certification is valid for two years from the date of issuance. After the two-year period, dental assistants must renew their certification by fulfilling certain continuing education requirements and complying with the renewal requirements of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), which administers the NELDA certification.
How can I prepare for the NELDA exam?
The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), which administers the NELDA certification, offers a variety of resources to help candidates prepare for the exam, including study guides and practice exams.
How do I apply for the NELDA certification?
Visit the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) website and submit an application for the NELDA certification. You will need to provide personal information, education and work experience details, and payment for the application fee.
What else do i need to know about NELDA?
Certification fees: As of 2023, the application fee for the NELDA certification is $250. This fee covers the cost of the exam and initial certification.
Continuing education requirements: To maintain their NELDA certification, dental assistants must complete a certain number of continuing education credits every two years. The number of credits required varies depending on the state in which the dental assistant practices.
NELDA vs. CDA certification: While the NELDA certification is designed for entry-level dental assistants, the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is intended for dental assistants who have already gained some experience in the field. The CDA exam covers more advanced topics and requires candidates to have a certain amount of work experience or education in dental assisting.
Other DANB certifications: The DANB also offers several other certifications for dental assistants, including the Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA), Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA), and Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA) certifications.