Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to common questions from our members and new applicants!
What is The Ohio EFDA Association?
The Ohio EFDA Association increases dental and public awareness of expanded functions and aids in the stability of the profession by providing a voice in the public policy process. Educational opportunities are also offered for the membership's benefit.
What is an Ohio EFDA?
An Ohio EFDA is a certified dental assistant (CDA), certified Ohio dental assistant (CODA), or a licensed dental hygienist who has graduated from an expanded functions training program and passed the Ohio EFDA state board. This auxiliary member is permitted to perform advanced remedial intra-oral procedures that involve the placement of preventative or restorative materials limited to sealants and metallic and nonmetallic restorative materials.
Ohio EFDA's commonly take the operators position after the dentist is finished removing the diseased tooth structure. The EFDA then places and finishes the restorations (by law, the dentist must then return to check the EFDA's work before the patient can be dismissed.)
Foreign trained dentists, dental students and EFDA's from other states may also apply to sit for the EFDA state board under certain circumstances.
Why do dentists employ Ohio EFDAs? What is their purpose as part of the dental team?
EFDAs help the schedule to be more flexible in order to accommodate emergencies and new patients without great interruption in the practice schedule
EFDAs can place and finish metallic and nonmetallic restorations, enabling the dentist to have more time to do other things such as:
Complete more procedures per patient
Begin other procedures
Attend to hygiene patients in a timely fashion
Communicate with the front desk staff
Communicate with the patients
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning - Case Presentation
Build patient rapport - Patient Education
Work less hours
Spend more time on difficult and new procedures
Dentists can practice longer into their retirement years with an EFDA.
How do you become and EFDA?
There is an educational and a testing requirement in the state of Ohio for those who wish to practice as Ohio EFDAs. After applying to and graduating from one of the five state EFDA programs, the EFDA State Board must be taken. Those who pass the state test may apply to the Ohio State Dental Board for permission to practice in Ohio.
Do other states have EFDAs?
Many states have categories of dental auxiliary called EFDAs but their definitions of delegable duties differ according to state law. Only a few states currently allow EFDAs to place and finish metallic and nonmetallic restorations. They include Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Puerto Rico also allows trained dental auxiliary to perform restorative procedures similar to Ohio.
According to the 2004 ADA survey of legal provisions for delegating intra-oral functions, Massachusetts and Tennessee are currently working on integrating expanded functions into their state dental code.
California, Wyoming and Washington include expanded functions as part of legal duties that can be preformed by licensed dental hygienists who have completed restorative educational requirements. North Dakota is also listed in the ADA survey, as allowing hygienists to perform restorative expanded functions.
he only way to know for sure what duties are legally delegated per state is to contact individual state's dental board. For addresses and phone numbers of all the state dental boards, go to
What are the requirements needed for acceptance into the training programs?
Each EFDA program has individual requirements. Most require that applicants show proof of DANB CDA, OHIO CDA, or Ohio RDH and may request 2 years of office experience.
In some cases the EFDA programs are part of the dental hygiene curriculum. Very recently some foreign trained dentists, who are waiting for their Ohio license, have been accepted into the EFDA training programs.
How long does the education take?
Every Ohio training program has a different schedule. Some courses are taught over a six- month span and some are 9 months. It's best to contact the individual programs for more information.
How do you become a CDA or a Certified Ohio Dental Assistant?
CDA stands for Certified Dental Assistant, which is credential granted by the Dental Assisting National Board. The DANB is the nationally recognized premier certification and credentialing agency for dental assistants. In order to acquire this credential, one must apply for and pass a national examination. There are three pathways or sets of requirements one must possess in order to be eligible for application. Pathway one requires graduation from an ADA accredited dental assisting or dental hygiene program. Pathway two requires high school graduation or equivalent and a minimum of two years full time work experience as a dental assistant. Pathway three requires status as a current or previous DANB CDA or graduation from an ADA accredited DDS or DMD program or graduation from a foreign dental degree program. Go to for more information or call 1-800-FOR_DANB
CODA stands for Certified Ohio Dental Assistant. The Commission on Ohio Dental Assistant Certification is responsible for this credential and it is their mission to provide a pathway for dental assistants to achieve certification within the state. Ohio Certification is available to those who meet one the following criteria; a minimum of 6 months continuous full time work experience, enrollment in the second year of a 2-year dental assisting program, or enrollment in a post high school dental assisting program. To become a CODA, a 3 part written and clinical exam must be accomplished. Other eligibility requirements include current CPR documentation, notarized letter (s) of recommendation, or proof of membership in a professional dental organization.
How do you become a CDA or a Certified Ohio Dental Assistant?
Most programs require CDA or CODA certification before an applicant can start classes. An Ohio dental hygiene license is also acceptable. The best idea is to check with individual programs to learn of their particular requirements. Some training programs will put applicants' names on waiting lists until they have completed their certification.
Are EFDA's licensed, certified, or registered by Ohio?
Ohio EFDAs are registered by the Ohio State Dental Board.
This registry was introduced into Ohio's legislation in 2005 and signed by the governor in 2006. Registration makes Ohio Expanded Functions a bona fide profession that is tracked, stops non-EFDAs, unlicensed dentists and EFDAs from other states from practicing illegally, polices the profession and provides a current upgraded dependable list of Ohio EFDAs every two years that employers can refer to for hiring purposes.
Do I need a refresher course or do I need to retest if I haven't practiced for a while?
There are currently no requirements for re-entering the Ohio EFDA profession.
We have received many inquires from those who would like some mentoring in expanded functions due to the many changes in restorative dentistry that have taken place in the last several years. We have a mentoring program for those who would like to re-enter the profession and those who have just passed their boards across the state. We hope to make the concept of mentoring a continuing goal of the association. The Ohio EFDA Association is also working on offering hands- on restorative continuing education across the state for all EFDAs.
Why should I join The Ohio EFDA Association? What are the benefits?
Benefits to joining include but are not limited to:
• Being informed concerning the constant changes to our profession
• Having a voice in Ohio public policy
• Continuing restorative education at little or no cost
• Stay tuned for vendor discounts available only to our members
• Notification and discounts on CEU courses
• Job opening information
• Mentoring service for practicing EFDAs and EFDA students
The Ohio EFDA Association speaks for Ohio EFDAs at the Ohio Dental Summit, Ohio Dental Workforce Roundtable, Ohio State Dental Board meetings, and the Ohio Dental Association Annual Session among other dental meetings across the state.