You're a dental assistant — a valuable member of your team, but want to continue your education and enhance your skills. You want to become an EFDA. So how do you get there from here? Read on to learn more.
As part of the grant the program will be purchasing new manikins for the restorative
and prosthetics courses. At present, the courses have used only the model in the clinical courses; the update will include a full manikin with a chair mount.
The Missouri Dental Board recognizes three pathways for EFDA course eligibility
- Graduation from a CODA accredited dental assisting program after June 1, 1995
and designation/certification as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) from DANB.
- Designation/certification as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) from DANB and completion of a Board Approved Expanded Functions course.
- Completion of a Board Approved Basic Skills Mastery examination and Board Approved Expanded Functions course.
What is a CDA?
The DANB Board of Directors sets the following as the standard definition of a
Certified Dental Assistant (CDA):
"A CDA is a dental assistant, dental hygienist, or dentist who::
- Meets the education and/or experience prerequisites established by the
Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), AND
- Passes DANB's Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Examination, which is
comprised of component exams covering Radiation Health and Safety (RHS),
Infection Control (ICE), and General Chairside Assisting (GC), AND
- Is currently CPR certified, AND continues to maintain the credential by meeting
DANB Recertification requirements (including continuing education, current CPR certification, and annual fee)."
Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Exam
The CDA examination focuses on General Chairside Assisting and is DANB's primary certification. In addition to a General Chairside component (GC), the CDA exam
contains separate components covering Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and Infection Control (ICE) topics. Many states are using the CDA examination or one of its
components as part of dental assisting regulatory requirements. There have been over 100,000 certifications awarded and currently there are over 30,000 professionals
maintaining the credential. You will find more information about DANB exams here.
Exam Reference Materials
You should prepare for the DANB Certification and component exams using as many
different preparatory sources as possible. DANB offers the various publications to
assist exam candidates in the preparation process and now has user-friendly, interactive online review courses and study aids to help you prepare that can be found here.You
can also visit their website at www.danb.org or call 1-800-FOR-DANB if you have
Although it is NOT required to take an EFDA course, the MDA and its EFDA dentist
trainers recommend, as a best practice, to have at least two years experience as a
chairside dental assistant before taking an EFDA course. On the job training helps:
- Facilitate better understanding of the concepts and theories that you will be
taught in the online didactic course.
- Create better skills competency for clinical evaluation, procedure passage, and ultimately, expanded functions certification.
- Ensure your expanded functions skill level meets the standard your dentist must ensure for proper delegation and patient safety.
One of the pathways for eligibility to take Expanded Function courses is presentation of a certificate of passing the Basic Skills Exam with a 75% score. The Basic Skills Exam an be completed through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) or through a Missouri provider. It's now available as an online review and exam. Read more
Graduation from a Missouri dental assisting program does not qualify an assistant to automatically perform expaneded functions or to take an expanded functions course. Learn more about Missouri Dental Assisting Education Programs.
Certification to perform expanded functions in another state does not qualify an assistant to perform or take a Missouri EFDA course. An EFDA certified in another state must follow the same pathway as a non-EFDA in Missouri.
Individuals who took an MDA sponsored EFDA course may request duplicate certificates if originals have been lost/destroyed or if a name change has occurred. Please note that your certification will always be on record under the name with which you registered for the course at that time, but you may request a new certificate with different name due to marriage, divorce, etc. Please complete the Request for Duplicate Certificate and return to the MDA with the appropriate fee.