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What tasks are delegated by a dentist to an EFDA in Ohio?

Please refer to the Ohio State Dental Board website for specific rules.

What if I'm not a Certified Dental Assistant, but am working on it? May I still apply?

If you want to apply to the EFDA Program, you must include a copy of your application to sit for the DANB or state exam and a copy of your testing date to prove that you are indeed taking the exam.

What is the deadline for me to become certified in order to be considered for the next class?

You must have your test results submitted to the EFDA Program before the next class is chosen. Current CDAs will be given priority consideration.

How can I study for the entrance examination?

Any dental assisting review books or textbooks will help prepare you for the basic dental knowledge component of the exam. The spatial relations component of the exam measures general abilities in perceptual ability or your general ability to see objects in different ways. Both components are written as multiple choice tests. You can review a DAT (Dental Admissions Test) review guide to familiarize yourself with the test format. If you find that you are anxious in testing situations, you may find it helpful to practice using some of the sample questions. Review guides can typically be purchased at any major bookstore or borrowed from a public library.

How are the accepted candidates selected?

We are very selective in choosing candidates who will be most likely to do well in the program and on the state certification exam. This is accomplished by using a Quality Points system designed specifically to help us select our classes. Points are assigned to letters of recommendation, years of experience, CDA credential (or hygiene license), GPA, assisting school (if attended), and, most importantly, entrance examination scores. All points are tallied and candidates with the most points are accepted.

What if my points tie with another candidate?

If this occurs, we consider the higher entrance exam score and/or most years of experience.

Is there a waiting list to get into the program?

There is what is called the "alternate list", which is in effect from the class selection in June until classes start in August. This is the only time that there is a "waiting list". This list is composed of candidates (alternates) who did not score in the top 40, but did score well and are put on a list to enter the class (in order of their point score) should one of the 40 accepted candidates decide to decline their seat before August. After August, the list closes and these applicants will be invited to re-apply the following year.

What if I am not accepted at all?

This means that your points were low, probably from low scores on the entrance examination. If this happens we will send you a letter the following year asking you if you would like to re-apply and re-take the entrance exam.

If I was on the alternate list but never got called to enter the class, do I have to re-take the entrance examination when I reapply?

You must re-take the entrance exam only if you would like to try to raise your score. Scoring higher can earn you more points to improve your chance of getting accepted. You will be notified of your previous score in the re-application letter to help you make your decision.

What can I expect once I am accepted?

Once the classes are chosen, you will receive a letter of acceptance within 2 weeks of taking the entrance exam. You will then be expected to respond quickly to reserve your seat in the class. This means sending your admissions response form along with the requested deposit by the posted deadline. Once your deposit has been received, we will send materials such as your class list, schedule, and orientation information.

What is included in my tuition?

You will receive your own typodont, uniform scrub top, training manual, 3-ring binder full of information (syllabi, program rules, etc.), your own workstation assignment (equipped with state-of-the-art simulator, overhead lamp, articulator, drawers for supplies, and chair), use of instruments (in tackle box) for the year, all materials needed to fill teeth MANY times, use of low and high speed handpieces for the year, MANY prepped typodont teeth, expert instruction, and mock board experiences.

How do I know if becoming an EFDA is right for me?

Any career decision is a personal one, but having a strong desire to do more with your dental expertise, being able to provide more hands-on care to your patients, and your employer having confidence in your abilities to contribute more to the team, are some of the reasons you might choose to become an EFDA.

What is the clinical / patient experience like while I'm in the program?

If you live in the Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, or Columbus areas, you will be scheduled to rotate through MetroHealth Hospital, MetroHealth's neighborhood dental clinics, and the dental school clinic in the month of either January or February. If you live in the Youngstown/Pennsylvania area, you will be scheduled at St. Elizabeth Dental Clinic, also in January or February.

In addition, 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.

You will be working with dentists who are familiar with the utilization of EFDAs.

The Ohio State Dental Board requires patient clinical experience to sit for the state exam in addition to successful completion of the EFDA Program.

I am a foreign-trained dentist (outside the United States ). How do I apply for the EFDA Program?

To apply to the program, you must follow the same steps as previously listed, including the entrance examination. In addition, instead of CDA credentials, please submit transcripts from the dental school attended (officially translated into English by a translation service if in another language). Even though you have experience as a dentist in your country, we find that going through the EFDA program will better familiarize you with the restorative techniques used to prepare for the state certification exam in Ohio.

Is there a professional organization for EFDAs?

The Ohio Dental Expanded Functions Association (ODEFA) is the only organization in the United States for EFDAs. Students are encouraged to become members, and can do so at a reduced student rate. Go to for more information.

When do I send in my application?

Applications are accepted only between March and May of each year (please note specific deadline date).

Where can I find information about the EFDA Board Examination?

Please contact the Commission on Dental Testing in Ohio at 614.219.1559