About the Program
This program is designed for Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs), Dental Hygienists (RDHs) or dentists, who are interested in exploring community dental health. Community Dental Health Coordinators (CDHC) are health care workers who help promote oral health in underserved communities. A CDHC is a Community Health Worker (CHW) with an emphasized skill set related to oral health. CDHCs Work in the communities, peoples’ homes and other locations under the same concept and realm of a CHW. A CDHC is trained personnel certified by the board to provide educational, preventive, and limited palliative care and assessment services working collaboratively under the general supervision of a dentist in community settings, dental offices, and clinics.
The CDHC is a member of the dental team who fills an important role whether working with a health center or private practice. The CDHC can perform clinical preventive services and community-based outreach duties, in accordance with the state dental practice act.
EDUCATION, TRAINING & CREDENTIALS REQUIREMENTS:
To work as a Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) in New Mexico, one must obtain certification from the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care.
To qualify, an applicant must:
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent, or a college-level degree
- Have New Mexico certification in radiography, rubber cup coronal polishing, and application of topical fluoride and pit and fissure sealant expanded functions
- Complete the New Mexico jurisprudence exam with a score of at least 75%
- Successfully complete a CDHC program approved by the NM Board of Dental Health Care
CDHCs must have formal training in infection control from a course approved in accordance with New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care rules and regulations.
- Certified Dental Assistant [CDA] with NM Dental Board License in Radiology, Fluoride, Coronal Polishing and Sealants
- NM Dental Board License in Radiology, Fluoride, Coronal Polishing and Sealants
- Registered Dental Hygienist
- BDS/ DDS/ DMD
- CHW – Community Health Worker with Dental 101* course completed
- Current CPR/BLS license
*Dental 101 course, designed and offered by NM Oral Health Program. Free.
PROGRAM LEVEL OBJECTIVES [PLOs]:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively under the general supervision of a state licensed dentist
- Perform procedures ordered by the dentist to help relieve pain or to improve an emergency situation that a patient is experiencing
- Provide educational, preventive, and limited palliative care and assessment services according to the dental practice act
- Perform community health promotion skills
- Use health information technology in real time to provide limited diagnostic and treatment planning services through teledentistry
RECOMMENDED SEQUENCE OF COURSES: [24 credits.]
Spring: (16 Credits)
DAST 222 – Community Dental Health (2)
HLCR 115 – Community Health Worker Training I (5)
HLCR 116 – Community Health Worker Training II (5)
EFDA 295A – Dental Radiation Health and Safety Review (1)
EFDA 295B – Dental Infection Control Review (1)
EFDA 295C – General Chair-side Review (1)
EFDA 296 – Dental Fluorides, Polishing and Sealants Review (1)
Summer: (2 Credits)
EFDA 294 – Dental Insurance Billing and Coding (2)
Fall: (6 Credits)
CDHC 298 – Community Dental Health Coordinator Internship (4)
EFDA 295 – Advanced Dental Assisting Skills (2)