Dental Assistants always want to know what’s next? Is there room for advancement within the profession? The answer is yes! There are endless possibilities for a dental assistant to grow in dentistry. One path we want to focus on is an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant or an EFDA. An EFDA can place dental fillings in the mouth after the dentist removes the cavity. They are also utilized in other ways and can help a dental office become more profitable. We are here to give you the scoop on what all an EFDA does and how to get there.
All Things EFDA
First off, you must be a certified dental assistant or a CDA before becoming an EFDA. Most programs also require that you work as a dental assistant for two years before applying to EFDA school. The two years of experience doesn’t have to be as a CDA but you must have your CDA when submitting your application. There are seven schools that have an EFDA program in Ohio. The Ohio State University is the closest to us. They require taking a course on tooth anatomy before you apply to the program. Their program is 6 months long. You take the prerequisite course in June, submit your application by July and find out in September whether you got accepted for the January program. Classes are on Fridays from 8-5pm. They do have a mandatory board review class in early August to prepare you for your state exam.
Benefits of EFDA
Your next question might be: What benefit does an EFDA give to a dental office and why would a dentist employ one?
Not all dentists have an EFDA. Mostly busy offices with multiple hygienists and need for double columns of dentistry have an EFDA. What this means is if a dentist has a very large patient base they may not have enough room in the schedule for all of the patients that need treatment. If they double book patients with a stagger, they can drill out the cavity on a patient and go start on another while the EFDA finishes up by placing a filling. An EFDA is an important role to build rapport with patients and may even go over case presentations and treatment plans. Most EFDAs will start at an hourly wage of $30.00/hr which is more than double that of a starting dental assistant wage depending on the office in which you work. It is a great opportunity to advance within the profession while still doing what you love as a dental assistant.