CVTC is first in state to offer dental advanced certificate


CVTC is first in state to offer dental advanced certificate

Chippewa Valley Technical College has added an advanced technical certificate in Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA), the first of its kind in Wisconsin, which will be taught in the new state-of-the-art dental simulation lab.

Pam Entorf, CVTC dental assistant and hygienist program director and instructor, said upskilling dental assistants and hygienists to provide additional procedures, such as restorative services, will allow the dentist to move on to the next patient, which will increase the number of patients that can be seen, easing wait times for patients.

“We’re offering the first EFDA course in the state,” Entorf said. “We’re working on mobilizing a workforce that already has experience and training. Once they’re trained through this course, assistants and hygienists can finish up after the dentist has prepped the tooth.”

Offering this advanced technical certificate was made possible after state legislators created a new law authorizing expanded function dental auxiliaries to help improve oral health in the state.

In 2022, Gov. Tony Evers signed SB 392, authorizing the use of EFDAs in Wisconsin. Dental assistants or hygienists who attend CVTC for the advanced technical certificate will help dental offices improve access to care for underserved populations and help shore up dental workforce shortages, said Wisconsin Dental Association President Dr. Cliff Hartmann of New Berlin.

“We all agree that getting more people quality oral healthcare will require a multi-pronged approach, utilizing a variety of solutions,” he said in a news release in 2022. “We greatly appreciate the increased attention being paid to oral health in Wisconsin, and we look forward to building upon this success …”

CVTC’s short-term program is designed specifically for working dental professionals, offering courses that fit into work schedules.

The experienced faculty at the College will guide the training, preparing dental assistants to excel as skilled multitaskers capable of handling advanced functions like:

·        placing and finishing restoration material after the dentist prepares a tooth

·        applying sealants

·        performing coronal polishing

·        taking impressions

·        carrying out temporizations

·        packing cord

·        removing cement from crowns

·        adjusting dentures and other removable oral appliances

·        removing sutures and dressings

Entorf said it’s imperative to upskill our dental assistants and hygienists to give them the credentials to do this work and help the dental community meet the workforce shortage.

“It’s about increasing the ability to provide more care – to educate and expand training to deliver more services in a cost-effective way,” Entorf said.

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