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Dental Hygiene Continuing Education
Community Dental Health Coordinator Certificate (WHD011-63)
Designed for Dental Assistants and Dental Hygienists
Offering a total of 58 CEUs at the successful completion of the program
Funding Assistance Available: $250 per student is available for a limited time to reduce the cost of this program. Contact Mary Conklin for more information.
The Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) certificate program is designed to provide students with a practical and theoretical bases for assisting in the reduction of disparities in dental health. The CDHC can perform preventative services and community-based outreach duties. In addition to oral health promotion and disease prevention, they can interact directly with populations who are at risk for dental disease, but are unsure of how to access a dental program.
CDHCs are trained to interact, with cultural competence, in the dentally underserved communities in which they work. They understand people, language, and barriers to oral health in those communities; in many cases they already know the people with whom they will work. CDHC training focuses on community outreach, coordination of care, educational and social interventions in the community, and prevention.
Important Note: The CDHC online program is taught in phases over the course of one year, and includes a 60-hour internship. In addition to student participation in the online learning modules, this course requires participation in scheduled (live) Zoom sessions with the instructor. Zoom sessions will occur bi-weekly on Tuesday evenings from 6-7:30PM, starting November 3, 2020. Zoom instructions and guidance will be provided in advance of the first session.
What is a Community Dental Health Coordinator?
CDHCs are community health workers with dental skills, and they are members of the dental team. They focus on case management, navigation, oral health education and promotion, motivational interviewing and community mapping. Their expertise links patients into available, but underutilized, dental care.
The CDHC can manage behaviors that frequently accompany dental treatment, such as fear and anxiety. By carefully explaining how dental disease starts and the various dental ways to prevent and treat it, parents gain the understanding of their important role in safeguarding their child’s oral health.
While a CDHC may perform preventative services under the supervision of a dentist, such as sealants and topical fluoride applications, one of their most important roles in helping patients navigate the health care system. CDHCs encourage regular oral health services for special populations such as pregnant women, teething infants, diabetics and the elderly.
The CDHC curriculum has been developed with seven core competencies:
- Developing and implementing community-based oral health prevention and promotion programs.
- Knowledge and skills required to prioritize population and patient groups.
- Knowledge and skills required to provide individual preventative services based on approved plans.
- Knowledge and skill required to collect diagnostic data
- Knowledge and skill required to performs a variety of clinical supportive treatments.
- Knowledge and skill required for administrative procedures.
- Knowledge and skill required to temporize dental cavities in preparation for restorative care by a dentist.
Scholarships may be available for students who need financial support to complete the program. For more information call 508-375-5013.