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Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) Certificate Program

CDHCs are community health workers with dental skills and members of a dental office team. CDHCs focus on case management, navigation, oral health education and promotion, motivational interviewing, and community mapping.

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. 

The CDHC program is taught in phases over the course of one year. Through virtual workshops, lectures, service-learning projects, and in-person clinical placements, students will engage in topics that focus on local and sustainable dental health care delivery in rural and underserved communities. Students will take part in two learning modules (162 hours) and a 60-hour internship to successfully complete this program.

Prerequisites
This program is designed for dental assistants and dental hygienists working in the field or in a credit bearing dental program at Cape Cod Community College.

Program Cost
$219 per student, pending grant funding for eligible students. This program offers a total of 64 CEUs.

Course Format and Schedule
The course will be offered online and virtually using Zoom from February 7, 2024 through October 21, 2024. Internships will have an in-person requirement. 
Zoom Session Dates and Times: 

  • February 7, 2024 from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • February 26, 2024 from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • March 25, 2024 from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • April 22, 2024 from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • May 10, 2024 at 3:30 p.m. / 45 minutes.
  • May 24, 2024 at 3:30 p.m. / 45 minutes.
  • July 19, 2024 at 3:30 p.m. / 45 minutes.
  • September 2024: 15 minute 1:1 Zoom sessions (one per student) will be scheduled. 
  • October 12, 2024 at 3:30 p.m. / 1 hour.

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What is a Community Dental Health Coordinator?

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.

For More Information

For more information, contact Steve McLeod, CCAPE Grant Manager, at 508.375.5004 or email smcleod@tonlexia.com.