Apr 20, 2024  
2015 - 2016 CNM Catalog, Volume 48.1 
2015 - 2016 CNM Catalog, Volume 48.1 [The CNM Academic Year includes Fall, Spring, Summer Terms]

Community Dental Health Coordinator, Certificate of Completion

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School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety (HWPS)


This program is designed for Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs) and Dental Hygienists (RDHs) 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 essentially a Community Health Worker (CHW) with an emphasized skill set related to oral health. Working under the direction of a Dentist and in partnership with a community clinic, CDHCs will provide oral health education, prevention intervention, provide low level dental care, and help patients navigate an often complex public health system to receive adequate oral health care. CDHCs will be working in the communities, peoples’ homes and other locations under the same concept and realm of a CHW. The CDHC will also establish an emergency triage system and an organized oral health referral system with the Community Clinic or Federally Qualified Health System and dentists they will be working with.

Approximate Costs of this Educational Option

Financial Aid Considerations

Career Opportunities

CDHCs work in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Indian Health Service and Tribal clinics, and other safety-net facilities. The role of the CDHC is emerging as a valuable member of the dental health care team. The State of New Mexico plans to expand the number of CDHCs working as patient navigators, preventive specialists, and oral health screening workforce in the community health center and private practice environment to reduce barriers to access (socio-economic, cultural, geographic, educational, and psychological), while increasing the capacity of community dental health programs and private practices.

Recommended Sequence of Courses

Program Proficiencies and/or Prerequisites

Students must demonstrate proficiency in these areas either by placement exam scores  or specific course work.

Certificate of Completion in Community Dental Health Coordinator 25 credit hours

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