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CDA applauds dental assistants, sponsors legislation in support of RDAs

Dental Assistants Recognition Week is March 5-11

March 08, 2023 35

Sacramento, Calif. – The California Dentist Association, representing more than 27,000 members, is excited to recognize the contributions of dental assistants and the commitment and dedication they exhibit to the profession. Dental Assistants Recognition Week is March 5-11.

“Dental assistants are an integral part of the dental practice year-round,” said CDA President Dr. John Blake. “They strengthen the entire dental practice and enhance patient satisfaction and deserve greater recognition for their diverse contributions to both the dental profession and the dental health care of the public.”

Whether working chairside with the dentist, taking X–rays or managing the business office, dental assistants are vital to the success of the dental practice. Dental assisting is also a career that’s in high demand.

To help dentists fill open dental assisting positions in their practice that resulted from the pandemic and to create job opportunities for displaced workers, CDA established Smile Crew CA, a pilot dental assisting training program that provides participants with the opportunity to learn basic skills for a dental assisting career. Most trainees are successfully placed in positions after four-week “bootcamp” sessions. Smile Crew CA held seven bootcamps across California last year, and three bootcamps are scheduled for this summer in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Bernardino/Riverside.

For those who are outside of the bootcamp regions, CDA launched The Dental Assisting Training Program last summer. The program is a member benefit designed to be used in-office for newly hired dental assistants who have no prior clinical experience.

CDA is also sponsoring legislation this year, AB 481 authored by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), to streamline licensure for registered dental assistants, allowing RDAs to become fully trained and licensed quickly to meet patient demand while maintaining quality of care. The bill will also help ensure that the dental assisting career ladder provides meaningful career growth opportunity and is attractive to those entering the dental workforce.

About the California Dental Association

The California Dental Association represents organized dentistry in the state of California. Founded in 1870, CDA is committed to the success of our members in service to their patients and the public. CDA also contributes to the oral health of Californians through various comprehensive programs and advocacy. CDA’s membership consists of more than 27,000 dentists, making it the largest constituent of the American Dental Association. For more information, visit

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California Dental Team

California has a robust and highly trained dental workforce, with more than 35,000 dentists, 30,000 assistants and 18,000 hygienists licensed to provide dental care throughout the state.