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See how CDA supports your staffing needs

Finding and onboarding dental assistants can be challenging in today's market. Members benefit from easy-to-implement training programs and staffing efficiencies.


Dental Assistant Training Roadmap

Download a full set of recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training materials developed just for CDA members. These tools are available for free as a benefit of membership. 

Dental Assistant Online Training Curriculum

Provide on-the-job training in core DA competencies — even for staff without prior dental experience. Interactive on-demand learning, based on Smile Crew curriculum, is offered to members at cost. 

Smile Crew Bootcamp

Off-site pilot training programs are building staffing pipelines. Smile Crew participants learn the skills needed for a career in dental assisting and can fill open positions at member dentists’ practices.

Dental Assistant Training FAQ

What's the difference between the Training Roadmap and the Online Training Curriculum?

The Training Roadmap is a new set of resources that are included as a benefit of your CDA membership. The roadmap materials guide you through a 6-week process of recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training and retaining a new dental assistant.

The Online Training Curriculum is a separate in-office option that provides online DA learning alongside on-the-job training. This 12-week learning program is available to members at nominal cost.

Explore each option and decide which works best for your practice. The Training Roadmap materials have been built to complement the Online Training Curriculum.

How do I access the Training Roadmap? What if I'm not a CDA member?

To access member-exclusive resources, like the Training Roadmap, log into your account. If you’re not already a member, join CDA today for full access to benefits.

What is the difference between the Online Training Curriculum and the Smile Crew of California Bootcamps?

The Online Training Curriculum is a convenient and flexible in-office training option available to all CDA members. Smile Crew Bootcamps are held in select locations throughout California in partnership with local workforce boards and training providers. The Online Training Curriculum was designed and built from the Smile Crew Bootcamps.

How do dental assistants obtain their certifications, like radiation and infection control?

A link to the Dental Board-approved training providers for specific certifications is included in the dental assistant training materials. Smile Crew Bootcamp participants receive certifications in partnership with an approved training provider.

What are the certification requirements for a dental assistant?

Business and Professions Code, Section 1750. (a) A dental assistant is an individual who, without a license, may perform basic supportive dental procedures, as authorized by Section 1750.1 and by regulations adopted by the board, under the supervision of a licensed dentist. "Basic supportive dental procedures" are those procedures that have technically elementary characteristics, are completely reversible, and are unlikely to precipitate potentially hazardous conditions for the patient being treated.

(b) The supervising licensed dentist shall be responsible for determining the competency of the dental assistant to perform the basic supportive dental procedures, as authorized by Section 1750.1.

(c) The employer of a dental assistant shall be responsible for ensuring that the dental assistant who has been in continuous employment for 120 days or more, has already successfully completed, or successfully completes, all the following within a year of the date of employment:

(1) A board-approved course in the Dental Practice Act.

(2) A board-approved 8-hour course in infection control.

(3) 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 and that provides the student the opportunity to engage in hands-on simulated clinical scenarios.

(d) The employer of a dental assistant shall be responsible for ensuring that the dental assistant maintains certification in basic life support.

(e) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2010.

How much does the Online Training Curriculum cost?

The cost for the Online Training Curriculum is $255. CDA has obtained a licensing agreement to be able to provide the curriculum to members at cost.

How can I get a Smile Crew Bootcamp graduate in my practice?

Visit for bootcamp locations and details.

How long do dental assistant trainees have access to the Online Training Curriculum?

Once activated, each unique license for training allows three years of access to the platform. Once purchased, the Online Training Curriculum is associated with the individual dental assistant trainee. Access to the unique curriculum is not transferable nor refundable once redeemed.

Is the Online Training Curriculum license available for purchase to train a larger audience?

CDA has a license agreement and partnership in place to be able to provide the curriculum at cost to CDA members. The licensing agreement is not available for purchase by individuals.

However, there's no limit to the number of individual curriculum purchases an employer can purchase for employees. 

Who can I contact for support with the Online Training Curriculum?

For technical support and program inquiries, email our support desk.

Who can assist me with questions related to the Training Roadmap materials provided on

Dental Assistant Training Roadmap materials have been developed by CDA Practice Support. For assistance, call a helpful analyst or email Practice Support

Dental Assistant Training Webinar

Learn more about the new resources built to help members staff their practices.

Career Center

Connect to the right candidates through our dentistry-centered job platform. Members enjoy deep discounts on listings, plus tools and tips to stay competitive.