What is the RHS® exam

RHS® stands for Radiation Health and Safety, a component of the DANB certification process. As the name suggests, this exam specifically tests your knowledge on radiology. It is one of the most popular exams as many states require that the dental assistant is certified in radiology.

You will be given 75 mins to solve 100 multiple-choice questions. We will discuss the fees later in this article.


RHS® exam as a component of other DANB certifications

The RHS® exam and certification is a component of the:

  • National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA®) certification
  • Certified Dental Assistant™ (CDA®) certification

This means you must pass the RHS® exam with other components to obtain the NELDA® or CDA® title. (In a separate article, we describe in detail how you can apply and pass the NELDA® and CDA® exam). The RHS® exam alone will not grant you the NELDA® or CDA® title.


RHS® exam as its own certificate

You can take the RHS® exam separately, on its own too. There are no eligibility requirements for taking the RHS® exam, so you can register anytime.

Once you’ve passed the RHS® exam, a certificate of knowledge-based competency will be issued to you. This certificate will help you prove to your employers that you are qualified in dental radiology. If at a later point, you would like to become a CDA® or NELDA®, you will be able to use the RHS® certificate towards those titles.

(Note: Certificates of knowledge-based competency are not certifications.)



DANB’s RHS® exam components

The RHS® exam has 100 multiple-choice items that are split into four parts:

  • Expose and Evaluate (26%) (Assessment and Preparation, digital radiography, evaluation, patient management)
  • Quality Assurance and Radiology Regulations (21%) (Film quality processing and radiology regulations)
  • Radiation Safety for Patients and Operators (31%) (ADA guidelines, radiation exposure, and radiographic equipment)
  • Infection Control (22%) (Standard precautions for equipment and patients and operators)


The DANB® provides an exam blueprint, which is annually reviewed by subject matter experts. The blueprint is developed through a rigorous content validation study (CVS). A CVS is conducted every five to seven years to ensure the blueprint is consistent with current clinical practices. DANB®’s Board of Directors approves all updates to DANB® exam blueprints. Access the DANB’s RHS® exam page by clicking here.



Registering and taking DANB’s RHS® exam

The steps to registering and taking the exam are as follows:

Step 1: Apply for an online account with the DANB

If you don’t have an account yet, select Create an account.

Click here to access DANB’s website and create an account

Step 2: Register

  • Go to the Dental Assisting National Boards website, danb.org.
  • Find the section called Become Certified (at the top) and select the section called Exams and Certification (on the left).
  • Select RHS® Exam. You will be directed to this page that shows you how to apply for the DANB’s RHS® examination.

Step 3: Pay the fees

The RHS® exam fee is different depending on the type of candidate you are. If you register just for the RHS® exam alone, then one of the following fees apply:

  • Regular candidate – $250
  • Employed in Maryland – $270
  • Active military personnel – $245

However, if you register for the CDA® exam package (RHS® exam + ICE® exam + GC exam), you can save money. You will pay $425, instead of $750). Also, if you register for the NELDA® exam package, you will save money. You will pay $375, instead of $725.

Step 4: Book an exam date and center

  • Wait for your application to be processed. The DANB will notify you with instructions to schedule an examination with the test-center.
  • Once you receive the confirmation email, click in the area called Already applied? View your upcoming exams in My Account.
  • You will be redirected to PersonVue. Sign in and see the test you are eligible to take. Once you type in your zip code, you will find many options for you to take the dental assisting examinations.

Step 5: Take the exam(s)

  • You will receive an email confirmation from the PearsonVue prior to the examination. Make sure that your name is spelled
  • The facilitators at the test centers will walk you through the process of taking the DANB’s RHS® examination.
  • Note that there are other test-takers at the centers.

Step 6: Wait for the exam results

  • You will be notified via email that you passed or failed the examination. The results may take 2-3 weeks to be announced.
  • Click here to access the DANB website and download the application directly from their website.


States recognizing the DANB’s RHS® title

The DANB has a fantastic guideline that provides details for each state’s requirements for the dental assistants. On the DANB website, find the page called Meet state requirements, and you will be able to read the comprehensive.

Preparing for the DANB’s RHS® exam

Review DANB’s exam blueprint

As mentioned earlier, download the exam blueprint on DANB’s website. The exam blueprint is detailed and can serve you as a guideline to understand what you should study.

Dale Foundation and textbooks

There are many different textbooks to use when preparing for the dental assisting exams, the RHS® exam in this case. At the end of the exam blueprint, see a list of recommended textbooks. Warning: They are heavy textbooks!

Also, the DALE foundation has online courses.

SmarterDA Dental Assisting Exam Prep Solution

SmarterDA is one of the most popular online review solution for DANB’s exams. The website has a specific course for the DANB’s RHS® exam. The smart course features:

  • Study guides (with progress tracking)
  • Practice questions
  • Mock exam with a timer

That is why SmarterDA is considered the ALL-INCLUSIVE solution. Some call this program “addictive,” because you get a checkmark when you complete each topic.

Click here to start your FREE trial

Prep for DANB's RHS Exam


If you have any questions about the DANB’s RHS® exam, email us at support@smarterDA.com. We wish you the best in everything you do!


Related article: How to register and pass the CDA® exam