The University of Maine at Augusta Dental Health Programs offers an Expanded Functions Dental Assisting (EFDA) program; this program includes two semester long courses taught by a local dentist with the assistance of an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant. In the Fall preclinical semester of EFDA, the course includes an online lecture with on campus laboratory sessions scheduled for Friday afternoons (12:00 pm-5:00 pm). During this phase of the program, students complete a variety of expanded function skills on a typodont with direction from the course instructors as well as mentoring from a sponsoring dentist.
Upon successful completion of the Fall semester coursework, students are authorized to perform EFDA skills on a patient under the direct supervision of a sponsoring dentist. The fall semester typically requires approximately 5-10 hours of time in a practice outside of a student’s work schedule to complete the laboratory course requirements. This requirement is in addition to the lecture component, which typically requires 4-8 hours a week.
As a rule, the University states that students should anticipate approximately three hours of commitment outside of scheduled class time for coursework for each credit. The time commitment will vary for each individual. The Spring clinical semester of EFDA requires 100 hours of chairside time in a private practice performing EFDA skills in addition to specific procedural requirements and seven on-campus clinical sessions held on Friday afternoons from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm throughout the semester. There is no lecture component in the Spring semester.