Community Dental Health Coordination

The Community Dental Health Coordinator program is currently undergoing extensive revisions.  We will be accepting applications for Spring 2023 Semester. 

New State of Iowa program can pay your tuition, click here to find out more about the Last Dollar Scholarship.

Make an impact in your community with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ new online Dental Health Coordination Program designed just for dental health professionals. 

As a dental assistant or dental hygienist, we know you care deeply about your patients and their oral health. But with tens of thousands of Americans lacking dental care, there are so many more people that need your help. Now, with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ online Community Dental Health Coordination Program, you can take your skills and expertise into the communities that need it most. CDHC is a one-year online program designed to provide training in community-based prevention, care coordination and patient navigation. It’s all part of the American Dental Association’s effort to connect people who typically do not receive care from a dentist to community resources that will provide the care and guidance they need. By focusing on oral health education and disease prevention, you can empower people to manage their own oral health.

Courses will cover advocacy, intercultural communication, finance, dental health coordination, documentation and reporting procedures. Legal and ethical issues will also be covered.

EICC is the only college in Iowa offering this program and one of only two colleges’ in the country offering the coursework in an online format.

Award Options for Community Dental Health Coordinator


Row of dental students making moldsBenefits

Becoming a Certified Dental Health Care Coordinator will not only bolster your resume, but it will also provide an awarding career path. CDHC’s are community health workers with dental skills who are members of the dental team. Their expertise links patients to available, but underutilized, dental care.
They focus on case management, navigation, oral health education and promotion, motivational interviewing and community mapping.

According to the ADA’s website, CDHC’s can have an enormous impact on a community. Here are just a few examples:

One CDHC provided services to 114 patients in a rural tribal community health center’s diabetes clinic. The missed appointment rate for diabetes patients dropped to zero, compared with a clinic-wide rate of 18 percent.

Another CDHC at a Midwest Indian Health Service clinic provided services valued at more than $105,000 to 240 children at Head Start and daycare centers over a 10-month period.

A CDHC working in a single-dentist practice in a remote, rural location nearly doubled the clinic’s productivity in 2011 over the prior year.


Program Requirements

Students must be Registered Dental Hygienists or Certified Dental Assistants. Applicants are required to provide documentation of licensure or certification according to their individual state's dental practice act. Students must also meet the following criteria:

  • Ability to fully participate in classroom, laboratory, and clinical setting program activities
  • Allied Health Program Policy documents completed and submitted
  • Submitted current supplemental background checks

Dental Assistants must document certain clinical competencies before applying to the program and the candidates must be in compliance with the Dental Practice Act in their respective state. Documentation for these skills should be recorded on the application part II. Those clinical skills are:

  • Ability to take radiographs
  • Ability to place fluoride
  • Ability to perform coronal polishing
  • Ability to identify suspicious lesions


Health Requirements for CDHC Program

Applicants who are accepted and enroll in the Community Dental Health Coordination (CDHC) program will be exposed to blood-borne and infectious diseases. The program strictly adheres to established policies and procedures regarding infection control as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Dental Association, The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Depending on the site selected for Internship hours, you may be required to have current proof of immunizations for that site, and as such, you will need to be prepared well in advance. However, immunizations are not required to enroll in the CDHC program.

Healthcare Program students are required to learn CPR by completing an acceptable Basic Life Support course. CPR certification must include infant, child, and adult, 1 and 2 man rescuer, AED, and evidence of a hands on skills component.

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