Trending Content

MDA In-Person Basic Skills Review Courses Help Assistants Get EFDA Ready

By Missouri Dental Association

April 1, 2023

Last fall the MDA launched an in-person Basic Skills review course. For some time, dentists and assistants had asked for an in-person review course, where students could ask questions, get feedback and deepen their knowledge so they have a better chance of successfully passing the Missouri Test of Basic Dental Assisting Skills—commonly referred to as the Basic Skills Exam—and going on to take Expanded Functions Dental Assisting courses.

An in-person review was provided many years ago but had been discontinued for some time. The MDA is pleased to be working with Linda Twehous, who has extensive knowledge as both a dental assistant and dental assisting educator. The first Review was in October 2022, and a total of four have been hosted. Each course is at the MDA office from 8:30am-1pm. Read on for more information about the course. Visit for registration forms and watch a video interview with Linda about what to expect. For any questions, contact Mandy Lewis at the MDA. The next course will be August 18, 2023.

Course Overview

This in-person course will prepare the dental assistant to take the Missouri Test of Basic Dental Assisting Skills (MBDA), which is a pathway in Missouri to becoming certified in Expanded Functions. Topics discussed will follow the DANB exam outline, which includes questions on oral disease prevention; dental materials; medical emergencies; charts/legal/jurisprudence; radiation health and safety; infection control; and, tooth morphology.

Course Format & Study Aides

During this course, the group will have an open dialogue about common topics covered on the exam. Each assistant will be provided with a set of topical flashcards. The group will discuss each topic while assistants make their own notes on each flashcard, which can be used later for self-study and review. After the initial review and discussion, a practice test will be given to each assistant. After completion, assistants will self-grade tests openly, while allowing for additional Q&A time on topics that may need deeper analysis. After completion, the practice test will serve as an additional study guide for the assistant. In addition, a short overview of EFDA programs and processes will be given at the conclusion of the program.

Course Objectives

  • Thorough review and discussion of the topics included in the DANB MBDA exam
  • Focus on the challenging topics/questions many dental assistants have difficulty with
  • Complete provided flashcard set for additional study and review
  • Take practice test (self-graded in class) to serve as an additional exam study guide

Student Feedback
Here are some things attendees are saying about attending the Basic Skills Review Course!

Strengths of the speaker?

  • Knowledge and experience.
  • Very thorough in explaining any questions.
  • Linda answered every question we had.
  • She was willing to slow down and explain things not understood.

What did you like best?

  • The flashcards.
  • The practice test best.
  • Take home study materials.
  • The method used to review: Read the card, answer the question, write answer … the repetition helped me to remember.
  • Explanation of next steps after this review to become an EFDA.