Why study Expanded Functions Dental Auxiliary?

The Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA) Certificate Program is made up of online and face-to-face instruction with hands-on pre-clinical laboratory sessions and off-site practicum experiences. Students will use typodonts/patient simulation for learning instrumentation and proper manipulation of dental materials for restorations. 

Students will develop self-evaluation skills, an understanding of the Ohio State Dental Board Rules and Laws as they pertain to an EFDA, as well as professionalism and ethics in dentistry. At the completion of the program, students will be eligible to sit for the  EFDA board examination to become a fully registered EFDA in the state of Ohio. 

Admission Requirements

Due to high demand, program difficulty and other specialized needs, the EFDA program uses a selective program admission process.  Applicants need to apply to the University of Cincinnati as a Pre-Health Professions student prior to starting the Selective Admissions application.  The Selective Admissions application for this program will open the first business day in March and close the last business day in April.  Please note: all application requirements must be uploaded by this date in order to be considered for the program, no exceptions.  

EFDA Selective Admissions Minimum Criteria:

Please see the EFDA program's selective admissions criteria on the EFDA website

Important Admissions Information:

  • First apply and confirm as a Pre-Health Professions student to the University of Cincinnati in order to be considered for the EFDA Selective Admission Process.

Eligible Candidates:

Please see EFDA program candidate eligibility on the EFDA website

*Please note: For international student requirements, contact the Enrollment Services Office 

Other specific applicant 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);
  • Eye-hand coordination (transfer of visual input into motor output);
  • Physical communications (perceive sound through telephone, hear commands through operator’s face mask, hear oral communication from patients);
  • Visual acuity (identify the working ends of various dental instruments and implements at a 2 foot distance);
  • Form/spatial ability (view in 3 dimensional relationships, distinguish subtle changes from one form or shape to another, discriminate intricate measurements);
  • Language development (communicate clearly so that patient understands his/her dental/oral condition).

This program is designed for dental professionals that have experience in dentistry. Students will be successful in this program when they are self-driven, take the initiative to seek out help when needed, communicate effectively, openly accept constructive feedback, apply critical thinking, problem solving skills and demonstrate a desire to learn.

In Ohio, an EFDA is a dental auxiliary who is allowed by the Ohio State Dental Board to preform advanced remediable intro-oral and extra-oral tasks and/or procedures involved in the art or placement of preventative or restorative materials limited to the following: application of pit and fissure sealants; amalgam restorative materials: and non-metallic restorative materials, including direct-bonded restorative materials under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. This program will provide quality hands-on and didactic instruction in restorative dentistry as it pertains to EFDAs in Ohio, and will prepare graduates for the state certification examination.

Please see the EFDA Program website for eligibility requirements which includes previous dental experience.  Due to individual state requirements, there is no national data available specific to EFDAs, however here is information regarding some relevant career paths in dentistry.

For academic advising, contact the EFDA Program Director, Heather Ferris, at ferrishr@ucmail.uc.edu

The Community Dental Day is a special one-day event that occurs annually with free exams and dental services. The goal of this event is to provide one free dental care service for adults who do not have access, or cannot afford dental care. Students in this program will have the opportunity to participate in Community Dental Day. 

In order to graduate students must complete all program courses with a final grade of C or above.  Graduation does not guarantee registration as an EFDA with the Ohio State Dental Board.  The University of Cincinnati requires a minimum cumulative GPA of a 2.0 to graduate. 

It is highly recommended that international students contact the UC International Office prior to applying for this program.  

Students who have not graduated from a U.S. or English speaking high school must complete the English Proficiency Requirements with the designated score, as listed below. With the following exceptions:

  1. Student has taken a full year of High School in the United States and earned a passing grade in one year of Standard English (not ESL).
  2. Student has earned a passing score on the O-Level English Exam.
  3. Student has passed the first year of IB English (SL or HL) with a score of 5 or higher.
  4. Student has attended a full year of school in a country in which has been deemed as English proficient.

High Intermediate Ranges on Examination(s) - for students that do not meet one of the Four Bulleted Exceptions above.


  • Overall: 72
  • Speaking sub-score: 20
  • Listening sub-score: 17


  • Overall: 6.0
  • Speaking sub-score: 6.5
  • Listening sub-score: 5.5


  • Overall: 50 (concords to 72 on the TOEFL)
  • CEFR level B2 (easiest)=51-58
  • CEFR level B2=59-75

Cambridge Assessment

  • English 175
  • IELTS 6.0 = 169-175
  • IELTS 6.5 = 176-184
  • CEFR level: B2 =160-179

Duolingo English Test (DET)

  • Overall: 95
  • Production sub-score: 112
  • Conversation sub-score: 88
The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Heather Ferris
9555 Plainfield Rd
Blue Ash, OH 45236
(513) 558-9412

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Program Code: 28CRT-EFDA-C1