Become an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant

How to become an EFDA

Becoming an expanded functions dental assistant is a career goal many dental assistants have. EFDAs have advanced training and education and are able to perform more advanced duties. Learn more about this exciting career path and what it takes to get there.


Look up the requirements in your state to find out what you need to do to become an EFDA.

View state requirements


Find dental assisting schools and look up the programs in your area to see what’s near you.

Find a dental assisting program


If passing an exam is required, the DALE Foundation’s EFDA Practice Test can help you prepare.

See the EFDA Practice Test


Earning DANB CDA certification may be a pathway in your state for you to gain EFDA status.

Learn about certification

What is an EFDA?

Many dental assistants want to be able to perform expanded functions. Each state has different requirements for expanded functions and different titles for this role. Some states use the title Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA). Other states might use a title like Licensed Dental Assistant (LDA), Registered Dental Assistant (RDA), Registered Dental Assistants in Extended Functions (RDAEF), or some other title. Check your state to see what this level of dental assisting is called in your area.

View state requirements

What does an EFDA do?

EFDAs can perform all the duties of a dental assistant — and more. Each state defines expanded functions differently. Although each state is different, some common examples of expanded functions are applying sealants, taking impressions, performing coronal polishing, applying topical anesthetic or applying topical fluoride, to name a few. EFDAs must be skilled multitaskers because they are responsible for so many duties. Because of their advanced standing, EFDAs often earn higher salaries.

What education or training is needed?

EFDAs typically have a few years of experience and may have taken additional coursework or passed additional exams. If you’re interested in becoming an EFDA, it’s a good idea to start out as a dental assistant to learn the basics and get a sense of what the day-to-day pace of working in a dental office is like. After you’ve gained some experience and know that you’re ready for the next step, you’ll want to look up what the EFDA pathway is in your state. If your state approves EFDA courses or programs, you can look up a program near you.

Search programs

DANB exams and certifications

Many states recognize DANB exams and certifications as part of the requirements to perform expanded functions.
  • Certified Dental Assistant

    Passing the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam is a milestone achievement. Learn about the exam...
  • polishing instrument with teeth model

    Coronal Polishing

    Apply for DANB’s Coronal Polishing (CP) exam. Learn about DANB’s CP exam, how to apply, how to...
  • model of three teeth with sealant materials


    Apply for DANB’s Sealants (SE) exam. Learn about DANB’s SE exam, how to apply, how to prepare, and...
  • gloved hands inserting tray in child mouth fluoride treatment

    Topical Fluoride

    Apply for DANB’s Topical Fluoride (TF) exam. Learn about DANB’s TF exam, how to apply, how to...