Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when
it is not possible to recruit qualified candidates in accordance with chapter
3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part.)
Experience and Education
Experience. Six months experience that demonstrates the applicants ability to
perform the work, or provides familiarity with the work.
Education. Successful completion of a 1-year dental assistant program
accredited by the American Dental Associations Commission on Accreditation
that included a course in radiation physics; radiation biology; radiation
health, safety, and protection; X-ray films and radiographic film quality;
radiographic techniques; darkroom and processing techniques; and film mounting;
or practical nurse training approved by the appropriate State,
territory, or District of Columbia accrediting body.
Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience
and education are qualifying.
Certification. Public Law 97-35 requires that persons who administer
radiologic procedures meet the credentialing standards in 42 CFR Part 75.
Essentially, they must have successfully completed an educational program that
meets or exceeds the standards described in that regulation, and is accredited
by an organization recognized by the Department of Education, and be certified
as radiographers in their field.
Alternative Provisions for Certification of Radiologic Competence
Successful completion of the Dental Radiation Health and Safety Examination
administered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.;
(b) Successful completion of the
education and training, including coursework in radiation health and safety,
described by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as fully qualifying for
any grade level (copies of certificates of successful completion, plus
transcripts or course descriptions of the required subjects must be filed in
the employees official personnel folder);
Successful completion of the Principles and Practice of Dental Radiology and
Radiographic Safety courses and examinations developed by the Assistant Under
Secretary for Health for Dentistry. The chief, dental service, will certify
competency based on documentation of successful completion of this training, a
copy of which will be filed in the personnel folder.
Non-certified applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements for
certification of radiologic competence may be given a temporary appointment as
a graduate dental assistant under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405 (a) (1)
(D). Failure to obtain certification during that period is justification for
termination of the temporary appointment. This may result in termination of
Certification in basic life support methods is highly desirable.
(4) Loss of Credential. An employee in this occupation
who fails to obtain licensure/certification/
registration within the required
time frame, or who fails to maintain the required licensure/certification/
registration must be removed from
the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment.
occupations which require an active credential
(licensure/certification/registration) at all
grade levels, at the discretion of the appointing official, an employee may be
reassigned to another occupation for which he/she qualifies if a
placement opportunity exists. For occupations which require an active
credential (licensure/certification/registration) in assignments above the
full-performance level only, at the discretion of the appointing
official, an employee may remain at an appropriate lower grade level in the
occupation when both of the following apply: the credential is not a
requirement and a placement opportunity exists.
(1) Creditable Experience
(a) Knowledge of Current Professional Dental
Assistant Practices. To be
creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills,
abilities, and other characteristics (also referred to as core competencies)
associated with current professional dental assisting practice. Evidence of
such experience includes graduation from a certified dental assisting training
program, experience in private practice, VHA, Department of Defense (DoD), or
other federal health care agency.
(b) Quality of Experience. Experience is only
creditable after the training program certifies that the individual has
completed all required courses, an internship if it is part of the program, and
graduated with passing grades.
(c) Part-Time Experience. Part-time
experience as a dental assistant is credited according to its relationship to
full-time workweek. For example, a dental assistant would receive 1 week of
full-time credit for each 2 weeks of half-time work.
(2) Internships. Although not required,
dental assistants are encouraged to seek additional experience in an internship
program, especially when they may be providing chair side assistance in oral
surgery or other specialty care. An internship may qualify a dental assistant
for a higher grade as outlined below, but is not required for initial
b. Grade Determinations. In addition to the
basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when
determining the grade of candidates.
For the GS-3
Experience or Education. None beyond the basic requirements.
Assignment. Employees at this level serve in dental assistant career
development positions. It is expected that they receive guidance from more
experienced staff members for more complex patient issues, and require daily
For the GS-4
Experience or Education. In addition to the basic requirements, 1 year of
experience at the next lower level, OR 2 years of education above high school
that included completion of a dental assistant program accredited by the
American Dental Associations Commission on Accreditation. In addition, the
candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Knowledge of the use, care, and storage of dental instruments and materials.
Basic knowledge of dental procedures and what the patient requires during the
Knowledge of basic oral care.
Assignment. Employees at this level serve as staff dental assistants. It is
expected that they receive guidance from more experienced staff members for
more complex patient issues and require daily and direct contact at the site of
work from the assigned supervisor.
For the GS-5
Experience or Education
At least 1 year of experience at the next lower grade level that demonstrates
the core competencies described at that level. In addition, the candidate must
demonstrate the following KSAs: OR,
(2) Successful completion of a full
4-year course of study that included or was supplemented by completion of a
dental assistant program by the American Dental Associations Commission on
(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills,
1. Knowledge of anatomy and
radiological techniques, including safety procedures.
2. Skills in operating dental
3. Knowledge of instruments,
materials and standardized dental procedures used in all phases of restorative,
surgical, endodontics, and periodontic care.
4. Basic knowledge of
preventive dentistry measures to instruct patients in proper oral hygiene
5. Knowledge of dental
laboratory procedures to begin the laboratory phase.
Basic knowledge of the computerized dental record and privacy requirements
related to the maintenance and restriction of release of information from the
Basic knowledge of Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
standards for clinical and laboratory operations.
Assignment. Employees at this level serve as staff dental assistants at the
full performance level for more route patient care and perform some complex
patient procedures under general supervision of more experienced dental
assistants or dental supervisor.
For the GS-6 (Full Performance Level)
(a) Experience. At least 1 year of experience
[equivalent to] the next lower grade level that demonstrates the core
competencies described at that level. In addition, the candidate must
demonstrate the [following] technical KSAs [ ]:
(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and
1. [Ability to
identify normal oral anatomy.
knowledge of instruments, materials, and standardized dental procedures used in
all phases of restorative, surgical, endodontic and periodontal care and
3. Ability to
monitor and perform basic interpretation of vital signs.
4. Ability to
independently provide procedure-specific patient education and appropriate
referral of patient concerns to treating dentist.
5. Ability to
capture standard and special dental images of good diagnostic quality in
traditional or digital formats.
6. Ability to perform maintenance on
dental equipment used for routine and specialty dentistry.
7. Ability to enter
and retrieve data utilizing electronic dental records.
8. Ability to
perform dental assistant-appropriate laboratory procedures]
(c) Assignment. [Employee serves at
the full performance level with the ability to perform full range of duties
with some independence in assigned specialties, with indirect supervision from
the lead dental assistant, dental assistant supervisor or treating dentist. Assignments
at this level include, but are not limited to: using the concepts of
four-handed dentistry; assists with specialty procedures including oral
surgery, periodontal therapy, endodontic, prosthodontic and implant placement
and restoration; anticipates surgeons/specialists needs at each stage of
treatment; takes preliminary impressions; selects and manipulates a variety of
gypsums and waxes; pours, trims and evaluates the quality of diagnostic casts;
fabricates custom trays.
COMBINING EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE - (Must be documented with
transcripts) Combination of successfully completed post high school education
and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements.
QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE: The
required amount of experience will not in itself be accepted as proof of
qualification. Your record of experience must clearly demonstrate that you have
the ability to perform the duties of the position. The primary consideration is
the quality and level of experience.