An RDA is a dental assistant that has obtained essential skills and passed the state’s licensing exam which enables them to perform a wider variety of skills than an unregistered dental assistant.
These skills include coronal polishing, and pit & fissure sealants, among others.
To see a full comparison of duties, view the Dental Board of California’s pdf here
Becoming an RDA increases your earning potential and opens a wider range of job opportunities; which makes the extra time and money it takes to get registered worthwhile.
Indigo offers the most affordable and time effective path to a career as a Registered Dental Assistant.
Our method brings you into the workforce quickly and utilizes your work experience as a dental assistant to fulfill your RDA eligibility requirements. (see section 2b)
Requirements to maintain an RDA license vary from state to state, we’ll show you how you earn it in California.
We want to get to know you and your goals to make sure we are the perfect fit for you.
Our in-depth online class on the importance of professionalism.
Your RDA path begins with Indigo’s rigorous 12-week Dental Assisting program.
This course is a carefully curated hybrid education that combines online classes with weekly in-person clinical sessions related to what you are learning in class.
The course focuses on the critical skills you’ll need to master from day 1.
You will master the following skills:
Our 12-week program will land you in a job in half the time it would take to graduate from the typical career college program.
Students of Indigo’s Dental Assistant Program will receive on-the-job training in an externship at a local dental office within the Indigo Network.
In addition to practicing critical skills, the externship can lead to full-time employment or a recommendation that can help you land a job at another office in the Indigo Network.
Students who are employed before graduation can skip the externship step.
We have historically placed 9/10 of our students in a job before their graduation and they were able to skip the externship step.
Before taking the RDA exam, you must be employed as a dental assistant for a minimum of 15 months, working a total of 1,280 hours during that time.
Meaning that you must work 20 hours per week at minimum to be eligible. (see section 2b)
We view this step as a win-win because you will be employed as a California Dental Board Approved Dental Assistant, solidifying your skills with real-world experience, building a work history, and getting paid, all while accumulating the necessary work hours to advance your career.
And don’t forget, we guarantee to place you in a job within 6 months of graduating from the Dental Assistant Program, or we’ll reimburse half your tuition.
Most other programs are designed to keep you in class and paying tuition; we reject their method. We want to see you out in the workforce.
You can count the 12-week Dental Assistant Program and 4-week Externship toward the 15 month and 1,280 hour requirement.
The California Dental Board requires the successful completion of 2 additional training courses to prepare you for the next step of your career.
These final courses are provided through the RDA Capstone Program; upon completion you will be prepared with the advanced skills required for the RDA exam.
Indigo students can take these courses at any point after they complete the Dental Assistant Program.
Your instructor will provide you with all the necessary details.
Prior to applying you must:
You will be charged a fee from the service location, costs vary between locations.
LiveScan Fingerprint Locations
The DOJ's report will be sent to the Dental Board of California within 7 days of receiving your fingerprints and form.
Include the following items with your application:
• Infection Control
• California Dental Practice Act
• Basic Life Support – CPR (AHA/ARC)
• Radiation Safety Certificate
• Coronal Polishing Certificate
• Pit & Fissure Sealants
Once your application has been successfully submitted to the Dental Board, you will be sent information on how to pay for and schedule your exam.
We will help ensure you have everything in order once it’s time to apply.
The final step in the process is to prepare and take the RDA exam.
You will be able to schedule the exam at a time that fits your schedule.
Your capstone instructor will provide you with the required forms and information to prepare for the exam. It’s important to know that the exam must be taken within 5 years of graduation from the Dental Assisting Program.
Once your application for the exam is confirmed you will receive a handbook from the Psychological Services Inc. (PSI) that will explain the content of the test in more depth.
Indigo has an industry-leading preparation course to help you pass the exam with flying colors.
To ensure all Registered Dental Assistants are up to date with the current technology and procedures, the California Dental Board requires renewal of your license every 2 years.
Primary requirements for renewal:
• Completed renewal transaction.
• Renewal payment of $100 to the Dental Board of California
• Satisfactory completion of 25 continuing education units
• Completed Dental Healthcare Workforce Survey
View a complete list of renewal requirements here
Indigo offers a variety of courses that count toward the 25 continuing education units.
We are here for you every step of the way.
Costs associated to becoming an unregistered dental assistant:
Costs associated to becoming a registered dental assistant:
Cost to maintain your RDA license every 2 years:
Now is a great time to begin this career.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 8% growth for dental assistants between 2021 and 2031; which is faster than average for