How to become an 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 Exam must be taken. Those who pass the state test must register with the Ohio State Dental Board for permission to practice in Ohio.

* EFDAs educated and practicing in other states may appeal to the Commission on Dental Testing in Ohio (responsible for state testing) to sit for the EFDA state exam without taking the educational requirement. The Commission’s chief examiner reviews such cases individually.

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. Some EFDA programs are part of the dental hygiene curriculum. 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. Contact information for each program is located on our “Ohio EFDA Programs” page.

Where are the Training Programs?

Currently there are seven EFDA training programs in Ohio that are constituents of a college or university that is accredited by the American Dental Association and the North Central Accrediting Agency. These schools include Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Eastern Gateway Community College in Steubenville, Ohio State University in Columbus, Owens Community College in Toledo, Stark State Technical College in North Canton, Sinclair Community College in Dayton, and Miami-Jacobs Career College in Springboro. Contact information for each program is located on our Ohio EFDA Programs page.

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.

For more information and applications, contact us.

If I’m not a CDA or a CODA yet—will I be allowed to attend an EFDA program?

Most programs require CDA or CODA certification before an applicant is 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.

Who can apply to take the Ohio State EFDA Examination?

4715.66 Rules: (A) The state dental board shall adopt rules as the board considers necessary to implement and administer sections 4715.61 to 4715.64 of the Revised Code. the rules shall be adopted in accordance with Chapter 119 of the Revised Code.

(B) In adopting rules under this section, all of the following apply:

(1) The board shall adopt rules specifying the education or training necessary for an individual to register as an expanded function dental auxiliary under this chapter.

(2) The board shall adopt rules specifying the standards that must be met for an examination to be accepted by the board as an examination of competency to practice as an expanded function dental auxiliary. In specifying the standards, the board shall provide that an examination will be accepted only if the entity that administered the examination required an individual to be one of the following as a condition of admission to the examination:

(a) An unlicensed dentist who has graduated from an accredited dental college, as specified in section 4715.10 of the Revised Code, and does not have a dental license under suspension or revocation by the board;

(b) A dental student who is enrolled in an accredited dental college, as specified in section 4715.10 of the Revised Code, and is considered by the dean of the college to be in good standing as a dental student;

(c) A graduate of a dental college located outside of the United States;

(d) A dental assistant who is certified by the dental assisting national board or the Ohio commission on dental assistant certification;

(e) A dental hygienist licensed under this chapter whose license is in good standing;

(f) An unlicensed dental hygienist who has graduated from an accredited dental hygiene school, as specified in section 4715.21 of the Revised Code, and does not have a dental hygienist license under suspension or revocation by the board.