Dental Sedation Assistant or Orthodontic Assistant Permit Holder

Orthodontic Assistant Permit (OAP) Examination Modifications

In April 2021, an Occupational Analysis of the Orthodontic Assistant Practice was conducted by the Office of Professional Examination Services (OPES). The purpose of the Occupational Analysis was to define orthodontic assistant practice in terms of critical tasks that practitioners must be able to perform safely and competently when they are issued a permit. The results of this Occupational Analysis provided a description of practice for the orthodontic assistant profession that was then used to construct and update the California Orthodontic Assistant Examination.

On September 1, 2021, the OAP examination was modified to adjust the examination content which resulted in an increase to the number of questions and the examination time. The revised examination now has 75 scoreable questions and 25 pretest questions and candidates will now have 120 minutes to take the exam. The updated Candidate Information Bulletin for this examination can be found by clicking the following link Orthodontic Assistant Permit Candidate Information Bulletin.

Please Note: Examinee scores are being held pending evaluation and validation of the preliminary passing scores established by the vendor. The Board anticipates having the results by mid-October.

How to Become a Dental Sedation Assistant Permit Holder

On and after January 1, 2010, the board may issue a dental sedation assistant permit to a person who files a completed application including a fee and provides evidence, satisfactory to the board, of all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • (1) Completion of at least 12 months of work experience as a dental assistant.
  • (2) Successful completion of a board-approved course in the Dental Practice Act and a board-approved, course in infection control.
  • (3) Successful completion of a course in basic life support offered by an instructor approved by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, or any other course approved by the board as equivalent.
  • (4) Successful completion of a board-approved dental sedation assistant course, which may commence after the completion of six months of work experience as a dental assistant.
  • (5) Passage of a written examination administered by the board after completion of all of the other requirements of this subdivision.
  • (6) Submit fingerprint clearances from both the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation. This process can take 60 days or more.

Once this process is completed and an applicant is found to be qualified for licensure, a pocket identification card and wall certificate are issued. There is no license fee required for the initial license other than the initial application and examination fees.

Written Examination Handbook

For a list of approved providers click here.

For more information, call (916)263-2300 or email da.program@dca.ca.gov

How to Become a Orthodontic Assistant Permit Holder

On and after January 1, 2010, the board may issue an orthodontic assistant permit to a person who files a completed application including a fee and provides evidence, satisfactory to the board, of all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • (1) Completion of at least 12 months of work experience as a dental assistant.
  • (2) Successful completion of a Board-Approved course in the Dental Practice Act and a Board-Approved, course in infection control.
  • (3) Successful completion of a course in basic life support offered by an instructor approved by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, or any other course approved by the Board as equivalent.
  • (4) Successful completion of a Board-Approved orthodontic assistant course, which may commence after the completion of six months of work experience as a dental assistant.
  • (5) Passage of a written examination administered by the Board after completion of all of the other requirements of this subdivision.
  • (6) Submit fingerprint clearances from both the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation. This process can take 60 days or more.

Once this process is completed and an applicant is found to be qualified for licensure, a pocket identification card and wall certificate are issued. There is no license fee required for the initial license other than the initial application and examination fees.

Written Examination Handbook

For a list of approved providers click here.

For more information, call (916)263-2300 or email da.program@dca.ca.gov