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Expanded Function Dental Assistants: An ADA Survey on Use

Expanded Function Dental Assistants Survey
Like many dentists, you may be looking for ways to increase your practice’s efficiency, production and revenue. Achieving those goals may be within reach if you practice in a state that allows the utilization of expanded function dental assistants (EFDAs).

According to an ADA survey, dentists who employ EFDAs in their practices report being able to use their time more efficiently and see more patients per day. Duties most commonly performed by EFDAs include exposing radiographs, coronal polishing and monitoring nitrous oxide.

Key findings from the survey revealed that:
  • 59.9% of respondents reported employing EFDAs
  • 44.6% reported that EFDAs are used to the fullest extent permitted
  • 45.0% reported providing financial support or other incentives to encourage dental assistants to become EFDAs
Having an EFDA on staff has helped dentists:
  • Use time more efficiently – 92.1%
  • See more patients daily – 67.5%
  • Increase capacity to treat patients in managed care programs – 36.3%
  • Lower overall operating expenses – 34.1%
  • Increase capacity to treat patients covered by Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, or another public assistance program – 27.9%
Functions most frequently performed by EFDAs include:
  • Exposing radiographs – 90.6%
  • Coronal polishing – 53.7%
  • Monitoring nitrous oxide – 50.2%
  • Applying pit and fissure sealants – 49.6%
This survey was conducted by the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Practice (CDP) with assistance from the ADA’s Health Policy Institute. The full survey report is available for download. Please contact CDP staff at with any questions about the survey.