Vaccine Clinic Appointments—IMPORTANT! Please direct all inquiries and appointments to the Whatcom County Health department. Below are the contacts to make appointments:

Dental Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary

Dental student and teacher working with student

Dental Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary - Certificate

Attend the online session and learn about our Nursing & Allied Health Programs, and about funding and student support resources that can help you get started at BTC.

This 18-credit part-time certificate program is designed to prepare certified Dental Assistants and licensed Dental Hygienists to become licensed in Washington State as an Expanded Functions Dental Auxiliary (EFDA).

Course content is designed to prepare students for the Washington Restorative Exam (WARE) and the restorative portion of the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB).

The program combines didactic, laboratory, and clinical instruction to prepare EFDA's for such duties as placing and contouring restorations, final impressions, and performing certain dental assisting procedures under general supervision.

Employment Information

89% BTC graduate placement rate

$34,965 starting annual wage
$41,038 average annual wage
$47,986 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

The program only starts in Fall Quarter and is a three-quarter program. This is a hybrid program and students will be required to attend on campus classes once per week in the evenings and some Saturdays as scheduled.

  • Evidence of high school graduation or equivalent; acceptable documents include a copy of your high school diploma, high school transcript, or GED certificate;
  • Evidence of completion of a Dental Assisting Education Program accredited by the ADA Council on Dental Accreditation (CODA) or…Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) certified Dental Assistant OR Dental Hygienist with limited license;
  • Provide evidence that you have completed seven hours of HIV/AIDS training;
  • Possess and maintain a current CPR card. Minimum CPR required is AHA 201-Healthcare Provider;
  • Evidence of experience working as a Dental Assistant or Dental Hygienist within the last 5 years for at least 3500 hours. A letter on company letterhead, signed by a supervisor or HR staff verifying the above details including dates of employment is sufficient evidence;
  • Provide evidence that you have a Dentist willing to sponsor you as a mentor and provide clinical experience;
  • Completed BTC admissions application

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading or completion of college English course is required. Contact the Program Navigator Laura Doss 

AFTER admissions acceptance into the program and prior to beginning program classes students must submit proof of all Clinical Placement Requirements.

Program Application

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 18

  • Quarter 1

  • Quarter 2

  • Quarter 3


Program Outcomes

  • Recognize the role and laws of the EFDA in expanding access to care;
  • Take final impressions on a typodont;
  • Recall procedures for coronal polish, radiographs, fluoride treatment, sealants, oral hygiene instruction, and infection control;
  • Place amalgam restorations on a typodont and on a patient, restoring function and anatomy to harmonious form;
  • Place composite restorations on a typodont and on a patient, restoring function and anatomy to harmonious form.
  • Identify the laws as they pertain to dentistry in general and EFDA's in particular.
  • Apply ethical behavior in all professional interactions.
  • Identify means of locating reliable information for professional growth and answering clinical queries.
  • Apply critical thinking skills to sort through information.
  • Utilize evidence based decision making to solve clinical queries.
  • Value the need to respect cultural diversity in all interactions.
  • Identify several common pharmacologic agents encountered in dentistry, their uses, contraindications and complications.
  • List factors to consider when taking an impression including patient and tissue management.
  • Describe factors to consider when placing amalgams including material properties, mercury safety, patient and operating field management.
  • Describe factors to consider when placing composites including material properties, bonding, patient and operating field management.

Employment Outlook

Faculty & Support

Photo of Karen McGuinn
Karen McGuinn
Dental Assisting

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Dental Assisting Certificate, Bellingham Vocational Technical Institute - 2004

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2004

    Registered Dental Assistant, Washington State - 2004

    Certified Dental Assistant - 2004

    AAS-T, Professional Technical Education, Bellingham Technical College - 2004

    Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant - 2004

Photo of Laura Doss
Laura Doss
College Navigator

Laura Doss has been at BTC for 10 years in the roles of Academic & Career Advisor, Student Navigator, Instructor, Completion Coach and now College Navigator for the Allied Health Programs. Laura earned her Bachelor of Science while serving in the US Army and stationed in Germany and her Master of Education while stationed at Fort Sill, OK. Her initial education and training was in the mental health field before moving into education. Outside of work, Laura likes to spend time with her four kids, walking the trails, cuddling with her tiny dog and reading a ton of books!

Photo of Alisa Wollens
Alisa Wollens
Dental Assisting & Dental Hygiene Programs Coordinator/Instructor