The Dental Board of California is responsible for the licensure of Registered Dental Assistants (RDA).

The law governing RDA practice is the Dental Practice Act Business & Professions Code beginning at Section 1600, with the Dental Board’s regulations for Registered Dental Assistants found at Title 16, Professional and Vocational Regulations, Division 10 of the Dental Board of California.

Before an RDA license can proceed, applicants must complete the following requirements:

  • Graduate from a Board-approved RDA educational program; or
  • Complete at least 15 months (1,280 hours) of satisfactory work experience as a dental assistant with a dentist licensed in one of the states in the United States; or
  • Complete a California Department of Education-approved 4-month educational program and 11 months of work experience with a dentist(s) licensed in one of the states of the United States.
  • Complete Board-approved courses in coronal polishing and radiation safety.
  • Complete and show proof of completion of a Board-approved course in the Dental Practice Act completed within five (5) years of application.
  • Complete and show proof of completion of an eight (8)-hour Board-approved course in infection control completed within five (5) years of application.
  • Complete and show proof of completion of a basic life support course offered by an instructor approved by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.
  • Effective July 1, 2011, if you have never been fingerprinted for the Dental Board or the DOJ no longer has the record of your fingerprinting, you are required to submit fingerprints to the Board when an RDA license needs to be renewed, to reactivate an inactive license or to seek reinstatement of a lapsed license. RDA licensees require fingerprint clearances from both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Candidates residing in California must utilize the live scan system. This process can take 60 days or more.
  • In addition, all Registered Dental Assistants must undergo a criminal background check.

RDA applicants must also report all criminal convictions including infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies, with the exception of a conviction for an infraction resulting in a fine of less than $300. Applicants must report a conviction(s) even if he or she pled nolo contendere (no contest) or received a subsequent order expunging the conviction under Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.

An applicant who has a previous criminal conviction or guilty plea (such as for a DUI for example) and who answers “no” to the question about their criminal history may have their RDA application denied for knowingly making false statements on the applications pursuant to section 480 (c) of the Business and Professions Code.

If an RDA license candidate has a criminal history, the arrest report and court records must be obtained and investigated before a decision is made to issue or deny the license.

If you have a criminal conviction or any sort of application vulnerability, you need to consult with and get professional legal advice as to how to disclose this conviction to licensing authorities. 

The Law Offices of Lucy McAllister are skilled legal experts advising RDA applicants about:

  • How to report their criminal convictions to the Dental Board of California
  • How to address Board investigations to ensure they have the best representation and a strong legal strategy going into the investigatory process.
  • Advising clients about the pitfalls inherent in choosing to participate in diversion programs for those applicants who have substance or alcohol abuse convictions.
  • Petitioning the dental board for a modification of a term or condition of a probationary license or for the issuance of a license that is not probationary.
  • Reinstatement of suspended or revoked RDA licenses.
  • Helping RDA applicants expunge criminal convictions under Section 1203.4.

If you are applying to be licensed as an RDA and need to report criminal convictions and/or are being investigated by the Dental Board of California, you should call our Law Offices immediately. After 30 years of practice, Lucy McAllister knows exactly what the Board is looking for in an RDA licensing application, criminal disclosures and investigations.

Please contact her law office so that they can help you continue on the professional path you have trained for in dental care. Our skilled professionals can help ensure that your RDA license is defended and that you can practice the profession which you have so diligently studied for.