EFDA Curriculum

EFDA students in simulation lab pre-COVID

Program Expectations

Course Schedule

Students are expected to attend all lecture, laboratory and clinical sessions. In the program, students attend class one day per week during the August through May year, selecting a Wednesday or Friday session. Classes are held 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The first semester consists of lecture and lab, and the second semester is spent in the lab/clinic. Students begin the program learning instrumentation, tooth anatomy and morphology using wax, and then gradually advance through one, two, three, and complex surface restorations of amalgam and composite on the typodont. Rubber dam placement, retraction cord placement and sealant placement are also learned.

Course Materials and Resources

Included in tuition costs, each student has their own workstation, instruments, materials, textbooks, typodont, tooth preparations, overhead lamp and life-like simulator to learn the clinical skills necessary to restore teeth with amalgam and composite fillings, and place sealants. 

Lectures and Labs

  • Nomenclature
  • Caries classification
  • Cavity preparations
  • Oral anatomy
  • Dental anatomy and morphology
  • Periodontium
  • Histology
  • Basics of occlusion
  • Ergonomics
  • Instrumentation
  • Pulp protection
  • Dental materials
  • Matrix and wedge techniques
  • Temporization
  • Amalgam placement and carving
  • Polishing amalgams
  • Composite placement
  • Composite finishing and polishing
  • Posterior composites
  • Retraction cord placement
  • Pit and fissure sealant placement
  • Rubber dam placement
  • Concepts in Pedodontic care

Clinical Requirements

An applicant's dental employer must agree to allow the EFDA trainee to perform intra-oral procedures (restorations) in their office during the second semester of the program. Students must pass competency assessments during the first semester before being permitted to provide care to patients. A preliminary agreement form to be signed by the employer is included in the application packet, and a contract is to be signed by the sponsoring dentist during the first semester.

The Ohio State Dental Board requires Ohio EFDA students to complete at least 80 hours of patient clinical experience. In the event an applicant does not have employer support or is not employed, there is limited availability to complete the hours at one of our affiliate clinics. This option will require the student to spend extra time in addition to their class day to complete the required hours. Clinical/patient experience affiliations include MetroHealth Hospital Dental Clinics in Cleveland, Ohio, or St. Elizabeth Hospital Dental Clinic in Youngstown, Ohio. Participation in either of these facilities is subject to facility availability, the needs of the student, and requires current immunizations, facility training and drug testing.

Mock board exams are given at the end of the second semester, simulating the testing atmosphere and procedures of the actual state examination.

State Board Examination

After successful completion of the course, students are eligible to sit for the state board examination for EFDA administered by the Commission on Dental Testing in Ohio or the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments

Graduates of the CWRU EFDA Program will be permitted to use CWRU-loaned instruments for the examination, but must provide their own restorative materials. Successful examination results are necessary to register with the Ohio State Dental Board to then legally practice as an EFDA in Ohio.

According to various sections of the Ohio Law and Regulations for Certification and Licensure Boards, persons convicted of any felony or misdemeanor may not be able to take the certification examination, may be refused acceptance of placement by the clinical/practicum sites, or may have restrictions placed on their ability to practice. For more information, contact the Ohio State Dental Board.

This program is not approved by the Pennsylvania State Dental Board.

Program Performance Requirements

All students admitted to the Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary Program must be able to meet the following requirements:

  • Students must be familiar with restorative procedures
  • Students must be able to use both direct vision and indirect mirror vision to complete and evaluate restorations and will have to perfect fine motor skills to enable the accurate and safe application of dental handpieces and instruments.
  • Students must be familiar with basic dental terms and nomenclature.
  • Students must be able to function effectively under the time constraints of the program and display flexibility in the event of changing lab and clinical situations.
  • Students must be able to apply didactic learning (theory) to clinical situations.
  • Students must be able to hear and communicate effectively, follow directions, and act professionally in class and when delivering patient care.
  • Students must be able to read the printed words in EFDA textbooks and supplemental information, observe various dental instrument angulations and apply the concepts appropriately.
  • Students' eyesight must be able to visualize fine detail (either naturally or corrected), have depth perception, and have the ability to visualize three-dimensional objects.
  • Students must be physically free of the use of non-prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and alcohol.
  • Students must show acceptable progress and pre-clinical competency in the program by a prescribed time before they are permitted to provide care to patients.

An EFDA must have use of both hands, dexterity in the fingers, and tactile sensitivity to manipulate dental instruments, materials, dental handpieces, and operate dental equipment. The use of feet is necessary to manipulate the rheostat for handpieces, and other adjunct dental equipment. The body must be able to work from a dental operator stool in order to perform dental procedures. The ability to sit and stand for a duration of time is also necessary.  

Other specific requirements include color discrimination (differentiation of various shades of color and gradations from black to white); manual dexterity/motor coordination (discern changes in surface textures by manipulating dental instruments, control exertion of hand/finger pressure); hand-eye coordination (transfer of visual input into motor output); physical communications (hear commands through operator’s face mask; visual acuity (identify the working ends of various dental instruments and implements at a two foot distance); form/spatial ability (view in three-dimensional relationships, distinguish subtle changes from one form or shape to another, discriminate intricate measurements); and language development (speak clearly so that patient can understand his/her dental condition).

Technology Requirements

The EFDA program uses the university's online learning management system (Canvas). Therefore, students must have access to a computer to complete weekly assignments outside of class hours, maintain university assigned email addresses, and to have access to the university Student Information System (billing, grades, etc.).

When choosing a device, the following are recommended minimum specifications to consider, particularly for remote learning:

  • Operating System: Mac OS High Sierra or Catalina or Windows 10 or newer preferred.
  • Chrome OS or Linux not recommended.
  • Processor: Intel 15 or AMD equivalent or better
  • RAM: 8GB or higher
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB or larger
  • Wireless Card: Wireless N or better
  • Camera: Built-in or external, 720p or greater
  • Microphone: built-in or external

Other Considerations:

  • Sufficient ports to support any additional peripherals needed, such as an external webcam or headset
  • Any necessary adapters to ensure functioning of peripherals with the connections available on your device
  • Headset with microphone

When learning remotely, students will need to use their mobile device to login to Canvas and Zoom for preclinical activities, in addition to logging in with a desktop device (as explained in the Program Format document).

Phone or tablet needs the capability to take photos, record videos, install applications, and connect to the internet.

  • An ethernet (wired connection) is the most reliable
  • High speed internet is needed for synchronous sessions and secure testing
  • Preferred: Bandwidth of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) down and 2 Mbps up (or higher)

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