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Some states, including Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, and Wisconsin, don’t require dental assistants
to sit for a certification exam to begin performing basic supportive dental procedures. Still, many employers in those states prefer to hire certified assistants, and Claudia Pohl, former president of the American Dental Assistant Association, strongly advises all entering the field to take and pass the Certified Dental Assistant exam. “The average person would be appalled if they were to find out the person working in their mouth doesn’t have accreditation, licensing, or credentials,” she says.