Ohio’s Expanded Function Dental Auxiliaries (EFDAs) are asking the state legislature to make a simple change in state law that will make them a licensed profession.
An Ohio EFDA is a certified dental assistant (CDA), certified Ohio dental assistant (CODA), or a licensed dental hygienist who has graduated from an accredited expanded functions training program and passed the Ohio EFDA state exam. EFDAs are currently required to register with the Ohio State Dental Board before providing services to patients, among other requirements.
Working with the Ohio Dental Association, the Ohio EFDA Association has drafted a legislative proposal to do the following:
• Changes registration to a license issued by the Ohio State Dental Board;
• Requires 20 hours of continuing education during the preceding two-year period before
renewal. Courses that will be accepted:
• The basic life-support training course required by the Revised Code;
• Any course required by statute or rule of the board for licensure;
• Any course required by statute or rule of the board as a condition of performing a particular function;
• Any other course that the board determines acceptable.
• Specifies that one seat on the Ohio State Dental Board shall be held by a licensed EFDA.
“EFDA’s are highly trained members of the dental care delivery team,” said Ohio EFDA Association President Beth Walchuck. “The requirements to become an EFDA in Ohio are already at licensure-level and our profession deserves to be recognized as such.”
The Ohio Dental Association and the American Dental Association have supported EFDA licensure for several years. Each state had different rules regarding dental assistants with enhanced functions with most either being registered, certified, or licensed. Ohio’s current law does not require EFDAs to complete continuing education but Walchuck welcomes the change.
“As a profession, we want to always be on the cutting edge of treatment and professional development,” Walchuck said. “Dentists and hygienists are required to keep their skills sharp and we should, too.”
The reestablishment of an EFDA association was done primarily to lay the groundwork for the licensure push and to provide EFDAs with an organized voice at the Statehouse.
“We have our mission and our goal now,” Walchuck added. “Every single EFDA in the state should saddle up, join the association and participate in the push for licensure.”
The effort to achieve licensure will require money, organization, and your voice. The first step, if you haven’t already, is to join the Ohio EFDA Association. For just $40 you can join a community of EFDAs dedicated to promoting the profession and providing a voice in public policy.
Sign up and help the push to licensure today by clicking here!