Quality of care is one reason we are promoting Expanded Function Dental Assistants (EFDAs). Compare EFDAs to dental therapists, which is what will soon be proposed to supposedly solve the access to care problem.

EFDAs works under the supervision of a dentist, so no dental work leaves the office until it meets the quality standards expected by the dentist.  If an assistant is not doing high quality work, find another. There are EFDAs with excellent skills already working all over the country.

Dental therapists work independently. They diagnose and treat without oversight by a dentist. Once they are licensed, they do as they wish.

EFDA is not a new position. In fact, I used them as early as 1980 while working in the Indian Health Service. One of my assistants created restorations much better than my own. They have been used in many states for over 30 years. We had a presentation at the recent Wisconsin Dental Association House of Delegates meeting in Stevens Point where two representatives from Ohio – one of which was a private-practice dentist – spoke about the efficiencies and advantages of EFDAs.

We need to promote this solution to help us reach those who claim they cannot afford dental care. This position will allow us to provide more restorative services in the time we are in our offices.