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EFSC Dental Assisting Program
Program Options & Upcoming Deadlines
July 8, 2021: Application deadline for convenient 16-month online program with evening in-person labs that starts Fall Term, August 2021. Learn more and view application steps.
April 8, 2022: Application deadline for 15-month daytime program that begins May 2022. Learn more and view application process.
The Dental Assisting Program at EFSC is accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (see additional accreditation information in the accordion below). Graduates of the Dental Assisting Program are qualified to take the Dental Assisting National Board exam. Dental assistants who successfully complete the Dental Assisting National Board exam are able to use the title "Certified Dental Assistant" and the letters "CDA" following their name. Graduates receive certification in Expanded Functions as required by the Florida State Board of Dentistry and an Applied Technology Diploma in Dental Assisting.
An Overview of EFSC's Dental Assisting ATD
This program has limited access and requires a special application process. Students accepted into the program get a strong foundation in dental assisting through classroom instruction, clinical experience, and laboratory practice. Students work with dental patients, under the supervision of a licensed dentist and program faculty, in the on-site College Dental Clinic, or local area dental offices to gain maximum hands-on experience. The Dental Assisting student will serve approximately 320 clinical hours treating patients, prior to graduation.
The Dental Assisting student is trained in subject areas such as: ethics and goals of the dental profession, human anatomy and physiology, dental equipment, instruments, materials, dental x-ray techniques, chair-side assisting techniques, sterilization, oral hygiene, office management and emergency patient care.
Various dental offices in Brevard County are utilized for clinical experiences. Students must furnish their own transportation to clinical sites.
Expanded Functions Certificate Tasks
An "Expanded Functions Certificate" enables dental assistants to perform designated tasks permitted by the State Board of Dentistry. Some of the tasks to be learned by students include the following:
- Polishing clinical crowns of teeth
- Taking impressions for study casts
- Application of topical fluorides
- Fabrication of temporary crowns and bridges
- Taking Radiographic Films
Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens
The careful management of infection and cross contamination is extremely important in the dental field. The Department of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting follows the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2003, and all subsequent revisions.
Students enrolled in a Dental program may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens. All students must have a thorough knowledge and understanding of infectious diseases, the mechanism of disease transmission, the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, and CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in the Dental Health-Care Setting.
Goals & Standards
The Goals of Eastern Florida State College's Dental Assistant program are:
- To prepare students as competent Dental Assistants
- To fulfill the need for Dental Assistants in the local and regional communities
- To provide guidance, information, evaluation, and role-modeling faculty who will foster the development of knowledgeable and skilled Dental Assistants
- To provide safe and sufficient resources for the attainment of educational goals
Dental Assisting Accreditation Information and Third Party Comments Solicitation
The Dental Assiting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation
(CODA). The program is currently on full accreditation with reporting. This status
was not implemented because of any academic issues. There were concerns about possible
air quality issues in Cocoa Campus, Building 20, including mold. Although no toxic
mold spores were detected, the college immediately began mold testing and remediation
efforts including dehumidification, AC modification, and extensive cleaning efforts
to address both faculty and student safety concerns. In addition, most lecture classes
were moved to Cocoa Campus, Building 17 to limit possible faculty and staff exposure.
The Dental Clinic cannot be moved at this time due to equipment and plumbing requirements.
The program expects to be placed back on the normal full CODA accreditation cycle (7 years) after the 6-month mold reporting has been evaluated (November, 2019).
Non-mycotoxic mold spores should not cause severe symptoms in non-sensitive individuals without immune compromise. If you have a medically documented mold sensitivity or immunocompromise, you should speak to the departmental faculty and the Student Access for Improved Learning Office (SAIL) for possible accommodations.
The full report from the mold remediation company is available for review in the Office of the Provost, Cocoa Campus, Bldg. 12/208A.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda
The program must solicit third-party comments through appropriate notification of communities of interest and the public such as faculty, students, program administrators, specialty and dental-related organizations, patients, and consumers that pertain to the standards of policies and procedures used in the Commission's accreditation process. The accreditation happens every 7 years. The next site visit will be in 2025. All third party comments are due in the Commission's office no later than 60 days prior to the site visit.
Policy on Background Check and Drug Screen
Students accepted in the Dental Assisting Program are required to complete and PASS a Nationwide Background and Sexual Offender check and a 10-panel drug test and to comply with statutory and/or regulatory requirements independently imposed by law, or as required by affiliating entities.