Dental Assistant Practice Test 2022

The Certified Dental Assistant Exam is a content-driven test designed to measure a candidate’s command of the skills and knowledge in all aspects of dental assisting. The test leads to a certification that is required by many employers and, where it is not required, helps an applicant stand out.

How Do I Register for the Certified Dental Assistant Exam?

The first step to registering for the test is to establish your eligibility. There are three different paths to eligibility. If you meet any one of these three, you will be qualified to take the test:

  1. You have graduated from a CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) accredited dental assisting or dental hygiene program and you have current CPR certification from a DANB (Dental Assisting National Board) accepted provider.
  2. You have a High School Diploma, a minimum of 3,500 hours of relevant work experience, and a current CPR certification from a DANB accepted provider.
  3. You were formerly certified through DANB OR you graduated from a CODA accredited Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) program OR you graduated from a similar degree program outside of the US/Canada. You also need a current CPR certification from a DANB accepted provider.

Once you submit your application verifying that you meet one of the above three criteria, you will receive a “Test Admission Notice.” This will contain all the information you need to schedule your exam, including how to pay the $425 exam fee. Once you receive that notice, you will have a 60 day window to take the test.

Which Subjects Are Included in the Certified Dental Assistant Exam?

This test is actually made up of three separate component tests but you will need to pass all three in order to pass the overall exam and receive certification. The three component exams are:

  1. General Chairside Assisting – 120 Questions
    • 10% Collection and recording of clinical data
    • 45% Chairside dental procedures
    • 13% Chairside dental and laboratory materials
    • 12% Prevention and management of patient emergencies
    • 10% Office preparations
  2. Radiation Health and Safety – 100 Questions
    • 26% Expose and evaluate patients
    • 21% Quality assurance and radiology regulations
    • 31% Radiation safety for patients and operators
    • 22% Infection control
  3. Infection Control – 100 Questions
    • 20% Standard precautions and the prevention of disease transmission
    • 34% Prevention of cross-contamination during procedures
    • 26% Instrument and device processing
    • 20% Occupational safety and administrative protocols

Each component represents an important aspect of your career in dental assisting so you will have learned it either in your educational program or through your on-the-job experience.

What Should I Prepare for on Test Day?

Prepare to be there for about four and a half hours, including check in. The component exams are timed as follows:

  • 90 minutes for General Chairside Assisting
  • 75 minutes for Radiation Health and Safety
  • 75 minutes for Infection Control

All three components will be administered via computer and all materials that you will need for the test will be provided for you, including scratch paper. So do not bring any personal items into the testing center with you. That includes food, wallets, phones, watches, and so on.

You should arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment so that you can check in. For checking in, be prepared to present a valid, government-issued photo ID with the same name that you used to register for the exam.

How Will the Certified Dental Assistant Exam Be Scored?


Your cumulative score for the entire exam will range from 100 to 900. You need a minimum of 400 to pass. The official exam results will be mailed out within two to three weeks. You will also receive your official certificate with your exam results if you passed the test.