Training options for Dental Assistants in New Mexico

This page provides detailed information on licensing requirements and education options for tomorrow’s dental assistants and dental hygienists in the state of New Mexico. [Seguir leyendo en español]

Across the US there is increasing demand for these two professions as they are delegated more responsibilities from the licensed dentists that supervise them.

Demand for dental assistants in New Mexico is expected to increase from 2,040 in 2012 to 2,340 in 2022 – a rise of 14.5%. During the same period, employment growth for dental hygienists is estimated to be 23.4%

Requirements

To become a dental assistant in New Mexico, at the most basic level, holds no specific training requirements. However, in order to perform more advanced procedures and open opportunities to higher salaries, extra training and/or experience is required.

To become a Dental Assistant with State Certification in Expanded Functions, you must earn state certification in each function you wish to practice. There are specific requirements for those wishing to perform rubber cup coronal polishing and the application of topical fluoride, and Pit and Fissure Sealants.

The former requires specific training in the function which includes observing five cases of rubber cup coronal polishing on children or adults and five applications of topical fluoride on children. You must then pass DANB’s Coronal Polish (CP) exam and DANB’s Topical Fluoride (TF) exam, a New Mexico Jurisprudence exam and a clinical exam.

The latter also requires specific training in the function including assisting with or observing 12 cases of application of pit and fissure sealants on children or adults on top of 2,080 hours of chairside assisting experience. You must then pass DANB’s Sealants (SE) exam, a New Mexico Jurisprudence exam and a clinical exam.

The DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification will automatically qualify you to apply for state certification for each of these expanded functions.

The Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA) is a dental assistant who has completed a Board-approved or CODA-accredited EFDA course, or has five continuous years (1,000 hours minimum per year) of experience as a dental assistant or dental hygienist, has earned state certification in radiography, rubber cup coronal polishing and application of topical fluoride and pit and fissure sealant expanded functions, has completed a course and passed a test in subject areas prescribed by the Board and been recommended for EFDA certification by their supervising dentist. Additionally, they must pass a Board-approved clinical exam for EFDA certification and pass the New Mexico jurisprudence exam. Finally they must complete a 180-day apprenticeship.

New Mexico legislation also defines the role of Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC). Such persons may perform preventive, restorative, and palliative procedures under general supervision of a dentist. To attain qualification you must hold a high school diploma, GED or a college degree. You must then obtain NM certification in radiography, rubber cup coronal polishing and application of topical fluoride and pit and fissure sealant expanded functions, pass a jurisprudence exam and complete a Board-approved CDHC program.

To become a dental hygienist, you must be a graduate of a CODA-accredited dental hygiene program and pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, a jurisprudence exam and a clinical exam administered by a WREB, CRDTS, SRTA, NERB or ADEX.

Popular Programs

 

Salaries in New Mexico

Dental Assistant Salaries by Area

Dental Assistants in the state of New Mexico are reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to earn an average annual salary of $32,296, which is equivalent to $15.53 per hour.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Albuquerque, NM910$15.39$32,000
Farmington, NM190$16.86$35,070
Las Cruces, NM230$14.14$29,420
Santa Fe, NM230$16.37$34,050

Dental Hygienist Salaries by Area

Dental Hygienists in the state of New Mexico are reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to earn an average annual salary of $75,624, which is equivalent to $36.36 per hour.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Albuquerque, NM420$35.23$73,280
Farmington, NM60$35.66$74,160
Las Cruces, NM100$32.63$67,860
Santa Fe, NM100$45.25$94,110
 

Dental Assisting

Albuquerque, NM

Carrington College-Albuquerque

1001 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107-1642
(505) 254-7777
http://carrington.edu/degrees/dental-assisting/

The Certificate program at Carrington College is offered at their campus in the city of Albuquerque. The majority of the school’s 628 students are on 2-year programs. The dental assistant program has annual tuition fees of $14,287 and material costs of $794. On average the program takes 10 months to complete.

Central New Mexico Community College

525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
(505) 224-3000
http://www.cnm.edu/programs-of-study/all-programs-a-z/dental

The Certificate program at Central New Mexico Community College is taught at their Albuquerque campus. The program is ADA accredited. This public college has around 28,323 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. In-state tuition is approximately $1,364 per year. Tuition for students from outside the state of New Mexico is $6,656.

Pima Medical Institute-Albuquerque

4400 Cutler Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
(505) 881-1234
http://pmi.edu/Programs/Certificate/Dental-Assistant

The Certificate program at Pima Medical Institute is offered at their campus in the city of Albuquerque. This private, for-profit college has approximately 942 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Annual tuition fees for the dental assisting program are $11,294 and books and supplies costs of $714. On average the program takes 8 months to complete.

Las Vegas, NM

Luna Community College

Hot Springs Blvd, Las Vegas, New Mexico 87701
(505) 454-2500
https://luna.edu/dental_assistant_cert/

Luna Community College’s diploma program is offered at their campus in Las Vegas in San Miguel County, NM. The majority of the school’s 1,739 students are on 2-year programs. Yearly tuition fees for in-district students are $886, while fees for in-state and out-of-state students are $1,198 and $2,230 respectively.

Taos, NM

University of New Mexico-Taos Campus

1157 County Road 110, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 87557
(575) 737-6200
http://taos.unm.edu/catalog/cert-dental-assisting.html

The University of New Mexico at Ranchos de Taos offers a Certificate program in Dental Assisting. This public college has approximately 1,660 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition is approximately $1,800 per year. Tuition for students from outside the state of New Mexico is $4,560.

Dental Hygiene

Roswell, NM

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus

52 University Blvd, Roswell, New Mexico 88202-6000
(575) 624-7000
http://www.roswell.enmu.edu/areas-of-study/health/dental-hygiene

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Roswell campus. This private, not-for-profit college has approximately 4,193 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Annual fees for in-district students are $1,605, while fees for in-state and out-of-state students are $1,664 and $5,330 respectively.

Las Cruces, NM

New Mexico State University-Dona Ana

3400 S Espina, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-0105
(575) 527-7500
http://dabcc.nmsu.edu/hps/dh/

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Las Cruces campus. This private, not-for-profit college has approximately 9,270 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Annual tuition fees for in-district students are $1,560, while fees for in-state and out-of-state students are $1,872 and $4,968 respectively.

Albuquerque, NM

Pima Medical Institute-Albuquerque

4400 Cutler Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
(505) 881-1234
http://pmi.edu/Programs/Associate/Dental-Hygiene

The Associate’s program at Pima Medical Institute is taught at their Albuquerque campus. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. The majority of the school’s 942 students are on 2-year programs. The dental hygiene program has annual tuition fees of $11,294 and material costs of $714. On average the program takes 8 months to complete.

Farmington, NM

San Juan College

4601 College Blvd, Farmington, New Mexico 87402-4699
(505) 326-3311
http://www.sanjuancollege.edu/pages/3339.asp

The Associate’s program at San Juan College is offered at their campus in the city of Farmington. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. The majority of the school’s 9,463 students are on 2-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $1,338 per year. Tuition for out-of-state students is $3,138.

Albuquerque, NM

University of New Mexico-Main Campus

1700 Lomas Blvd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
(505) 277-0111
http://dentalmedicine.unm.edu/dentalhy/ms-dentalhy/

The University of New Mexico at Albuquerque offers a Master program in Dental Hygiene. This is a full, 4-year private college with 29,033 students, of which 78% are undergraduates. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $6,846 per year. Tuition for students from outside New Mexico is $20,688.

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