National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) — MedCerts

14 Weeks

Program Length


10 year Job Growth


Avg. Starting Salary

Issuing Authority

Issuing Authority Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.

NELDA Certification Detail

There are three (3) Dental Assistant National Certification Exams available to students who successfully complete this program, all of which are provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).  Each exam is a component of the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) certification:

Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) Exam

The RHS Exam consists of 100 questions, with an allowable time of 75 minutes.  The four knowledge domains assessed within the exam are: Expose and Evaluate (26%), Quality Assurance and Radiology Regulations (21%), Radiation Safety for Patients and Operators (31%), and Infection Control (22%).

Infection Control Exam (ICE) Exam

The ICE Exam consists of 100 questions, with an allowable time of 75 minutes.  The four knowledge domains assessed within the exam are: Standard Precautions and the Prevention of Disease Transmission (20%), Prevention of Cross-Contamination During Procedures (34%), Instrument/Device Processing (26%), and Occupational Safety/Administrative Protocols (20%). 

Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (AMP) Exam

The ICE Exam consists of 105 questions, with an allowable time of 75 Minutes.  The two knowledge domains assessed within the exam are: Head, Neck and Oral Cavity (40%) and Tooth Anatomy, Morphology and Physiology (60%).

Graduates who have obtained these certifications may be allowed to perform expanded functions such as processing x-rays and a variety of clinical and lab tasks.

IMPORTANT:  While graduates are eligible to attempt each of the three certification exams, gaining status as NELDA certified requires that additional requirements be fulfilled beyond MedCerts training. 

  1. NELDA certification (PATHWAY IV) requires candidates to obtain a minimum of 300, and up to 3,000 hours of dental assisting work experience accrued over at least two months and no more than three years.  MedCerts does not coordinate placement for this experience whether through externship or direct hire employment. 
  2. Proof of completion of a hands-on CPR, BLS, or ACLS program.  A list of approved programs can be found on and include such providers as American Heart Association, American Red Cross, American CPR Training, and many more.

PLEASE NOTE: Each state’s dental board implements regulations and establishes rules for delegating legally allowable duties to dental assistants. Passing one or more of the DANB component exams or earning DANB certification conveys authority to perform these duties only in those states that recognize these exams or this certification as meeting state dental assisting requirements. This information is available at

MedCerts Programs for NELDA Certification 1 matches

Certification Training Options ForNELDA National Entry Level Dental Assistant

MedCerts programs are one of the fastest and most affordable ways to receive a quality education that leads not only to a credential, but also a career

MedCerts Two And Four Year Colleges Other Online Programs
Program & Tuition Cost $4000 average Up to $20,000 $3000 average
Exam Fees, Books & Materials Included Up to $750 Up to $750
Job Ready In 3-6 months 24-48 months 3-6 months
Schedule/Flexibility On-demand 24/7 Set Class Schedule On-demand 24/7
Travel Requirements None - 100% online On-Campus Classrooms None - 100% online
Student Support Personal Student Advisors, Subject Matter Experts & 24/7 support Professors - scheduled office hours Support Inbox
Career Coaching 1-1 Coaching + Career Toolkit to prepare for a lasting career Access to Career Services Dept. None
Content Delivery 3D animations, immersive environments, interactive activities, game-based learning Professor lectures Typically videos & presentations

This table is for reference only. Actual prices, durations and features may vary. Pricing is based on full-cost tuition for a Medical Assistant or similar program before financial aid.

NELDA Certification. Skill Gained

  • Explain maintenance of aseptic conditions and prevention of cross-contamination
  • Summarize dental instrument and device processing
  • Discuss infection control and safety programs, policies, and documentation
  • Identify advisory, regulatory, and professional organizations as related to dentistry
  • Discover muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems
  • Explore oral cavity anatomy & discuss salivary glands
  • Review sinuses in head anatomy
  • Categorize dental occlusion
  • Identify clinical tools and techniques
  • Review basic dental material & summarize dental specialties
  • Evaluate and mount radiographic images
  • Apply quality assurance and recognize radiology regulations
  • Identify American Dental Association radiography guidelines

NELDA Career PathwaysAttainable Jobs

highest Paying

Dental Sales Representative

Answer customers' questions about dental products, prices, availability, product uses, and credit terms. Identify prospective customers by using business directories and following leads from existing clients. Recommend products to customers based on customers' needs and interests.

$22,000 - $72,000
Estimated Salary

highest Paying

Dental Assistant

Assist dentist during dental treatment procedures, maintains office records and supplies and schedule appointments, teaches patients how to practice good oral hygiene, takes and develops patient x-rays, including digital (if certified), and sterilizes instruments and equipment

$19,000 - $45,000
Estimated Salary

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