Are you a Certified Dental Assistant or Registered Dental Hygienist with a strong desire to do more with your dental expertise, such as being able to provide more hands-on care to your patients? Does your employer have confidence in your abilities to contribute more to the dental team? If so, these are some of the reasons you might choose to become an EFDA.
What Does an EFDA Do?
The Case School of Dental Medicine EFDA Program (Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary) is designed to train Certified Dental Assistants and Registered Dental Hygienists in the art of Restorative Dentistry. An Ohio EFDA specializes in the placement of advanced remedial intra-oral procedures that involve the placement of preventative or restorative materials limited to sealants and metallic and non-metallic restorative materials (fillings). To review all of the tasks legally delegated by a dentist to an EFDA in Ohio, please refer to the Ohio State Dental Board website.
The EFDA Program is a very rigorous and challenging course. Students are expected to attend ALL lecture, laboratory and clinical sessions. Students must be very familiar with restorative procedures, be able to use both direct vision and indirect mirror vision to complete and evaluate restorations, and will have to perfect fine motor skills to enable the accurate and safe application of dental handpieces and instruments.
The EFDA Program utilizes the University’s online learning management system (Canvas) to supplement in-class learning. Therefore, students must have access to a computer to complete weekly assignments outside of class hours, maintain university assigned email address, and have access to the university Student Information System (billing, grades, etc.).
EFDA Students attend class only one day per week from August through May, and are able to choose Wednesday or Friday as their class day. Class is in session from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Enrollment is limited to 40 students, with 20 students per class.
Learning takes place in our state-of-the-art training center. Each student has their own workstation, instruments, materials, textbooks, typodont, overhead lamp, and life-like simulator to learn the clinical skills necessary to restore teeth with amalgam and composite fillings, and place sealants.
The first semester consists of lecture and lab, and the second semester is spent in the lab/clinic. An optional state board review course is offered at the end of the second semester, after completion of the EFDA Program in May, for an additional fee.
Students begin the program learning instrumentation, tooth anatomy, contour, and contact using wax. Then students gradually advance through one, two, three, and complex surface restorations of amalgam and composite on the typodont. Rubber dam placement and sealant placement are also learned.
Part of the responsibility for being in the program will be for the employer dentist to allow the EFDA trainee to perform intra-oral procedures (restorations) in the office once the student has successfully passed semester one amalgam, composite, and sealant competencies.
Clinical / patient experience affiliations include: MetroHealth Hospital Dental Clinics, Case School of Dental Medicine Clinic, Rainbow Hospital Tapper Pedodontic Clinic, St. Elizabeth Hospital Dental Clinic in Youngstown, Ohio and the practice in which the student is employed. Student must pass competency exams before providing care to patients. Participation in any of these sites is subject to availability / needs of the student.
Mock board exams are given at the end of the second semester, simulating the testing atmosphere of the actual state examination.
After successful completion of the course, the student will be eligible to sit for the state board examination for EFDA administered by the Commission on Dental Testing in Ohio (http://codtinohio.org/) or the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (http://www.cdcaexams.org/dental-auxiliary-information/). Examination candidates will be expected to bring their own instruments and materials (not school-owned) to the exam.
According to various sections of the Ohio Law and Regulations for Certification and Licensure Boards, persons convicted of any felony or misdemeanor may not be able to take the licensure or certification examinations; may be refused acceptance of placement by the clinical/practicum sites; or may have restrictions placed on their ability to practice. For more information, contact the Dean of Student Services and the applicable licensure/certification board.
Students enrolled in the EFDA Program are ineligible to enroll in any other programs in the university until completion of the EFDA Program.
Program Performance Requirements
All students admitted to the Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary Program must be able to meet the following requirements:
- Students must be familiar with restorative procedures
- Students must be able to use both direct vision and indirect mirror vision to complete and evaluate restorations, and will have to perfect fine motor skills to enable the accurate and safe application of dental handpieces and instruments.
- Students must be familiar with basic dental terms and nomenclature.
- Students must be able to function effectively under the time constraints of the program and display flexibility in the event of changing lab and clinical situations.
- Students must be able to apply didactic learning (theory) to clinical situations.
- Students must be able to hear and communicate effectively, follow directions, and act professionally in class and when delivering patient care.
- Students must be able to read the printed words in EFDA textbooks and supplemental information, observe various dental instrument angulations and apply the concepts appropriately.
- Students' eyesight must be able to visualize fine detail (either naturally or corrected), have depth perception, and have the ability to visualize three-dimensional objects.
- Students must be physically free of the use of non-prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and alcohol.
- Students must show acceptable progress and pre-clinical competency in the program by a prescribed time before they are allowed to provide care to patients
An EFDA must have use of both hands, dexterity in the fingers, and tactile sensitivity to manipulate dental instruments, materials, dental handpieces, and operate dental equipment. The use of feet is necessary to manipulate the rheostat for hand pieces, and other adjunct dental equipment. The body must be able to work from a dental operator stool in order to perform dental procedures. The ability to sit and stand for a duration of time is also necessary. Other specific requirements include color discrimination (differentiation of various shades of color and gradations from black to white); manual dexterity/motor coordination (discern changes in surface textures by manipulating dental instruments, control exertion of hand/finger pressure); hand-eye coordination (transfer of visual input into motor output); physical communications (hear commands through operator’s face mask; visual acuity (identify the working ends of various dental instruments and implements at a two foot distance); form/spatial ability (view in three-dimensional relationships, distinguish subtle changes from one form or shape to another, discriminate intricate measurements); and language development (speak clearly so that patient can understand his/her dental condition).
- Completed Application
- $40.00 application fee
- 2 letters of recommendation
- Official high school or college transcripts (mailed directly to EFDA Program or sent with application in a SEALED envelope) identified by seal of issuing institution
- Letter from employer verifying at least 2 years assisting experience in general dentistry within the past 5 years
- Notarized copy of current CDA credential or RDH license
- Proof of HepBVac immunization (or titer if more than 10 years ago)
- Proof of current TB test results (current year)
- Entrance Examination -- Basic dental assisting knowledge (instruments, nomenclature, burs, materials, classification of caries, etc.); Spatial relations; Perceptual ability
Once a complete application is received, the applicant is eligible to sit for the entrance examination and will immediately receive (mailed) a letter of confirmation with instructions for the exam. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.
A $1000 non-refundable fee to reserve your seat in the class once accepted into the program is to be paid by June 30th, 2017 and will be applied towards the tuition. The remainder of the tuition will be billed to you by the university starting in August 2017. Tuition is billed by semester. Failure to pay the fall semester tuition will prevent you from being registered for the second semester. Please refer to the Bursar's Office for information on the "EZ Pay" option (cannot be used for tuition deposit), health fee and penalties. Tuition dates and deadlines can be found here.
The University charges all enrolled students a Health Fee. If you can provide proof of coverage in your own health care plan, then you may waive the fee. All students, regardless of Health Fee Waiver, have access to the University Health Service while enrolled in the EFDA Program.
All students accepted into the EFDA Program must complete a background check (through an agency used by the school), and will provided be provided information to do so once the tuition deposit has been received.
The School of Dental Medicine has the right to cancel or change classes without notice.
This is a dental continuing education course, and therefore does not qualify for federal financial aid, however, you may apply for private educational funding (eg: Sallie Mae).
This program is not approved by the Pennsylvania State Dental Board.