Tag Archives: scope of practice

New report lays out challenges in expanding practice of dental hygienists

Photo: Conor Lawless via Flickr

An estimated 61 percent of low-income children — roughly 6.5 million kids — lack dental sealants that could help protect their teeth from decay, according to federal research.

School sealant programs have been shown effective in getting preventive treatments to children who might otherwise go without. Continue reading

Minnesota’s dental therapist experiment receiving good reviews

Photo: Mark via Flickr

Minnesota’s first dental therapists went to work six years ago. Now approximately 70 of the licensed midlevel providers are offering preventive and restorative care in clinics and dental offices around the state.

When state legislators approved the dental therapist model in 2009, they hoped the addition to the state’s dental workforce would expand access for underserved Medicaid patients. Lack of care for poor patients is a problem in the state, as it is across the country. Continue reading

Briefing focuses on integration of medical, oral health care

Oral health may be essential to overall health but the enduring gap between dental care and medical care impacts everything from how care is accessed to how services are financed, from how providers are educated to how research is pursued.

For millions of Americans, dental care is harder to find and pay for than medical care. Physicians and dentists operate in separate systems and oral and medical services are rarely integrated. Continue reading

Coverage of legislative fight over hygienists spotlights work of regional health news service

Image by Official U.S. Navy Page via flickr.

Photo: Official U.S. Navy Page via Flickr.

Through public fights, complicated amendments and rumors of passage, Andy Miller of Georgia Health News followed the drama of House Bill 684.

And when the bill recently died a sudden death in the Georgia statehouse, Miller was there to let readers know.

“A bill to allow Georgia dental hygienists to work in safety-net settings without a dentist present appeared to get a strong push forward when it was approved by a House health committee,” he wrote. “But the chamber’s rules committee then blocked House Bill 684 from a vote on the floor, effectively killing it for the year.” Continue reading

Dental hygienists’ hope for a wider role in Georgia put on hold

Image by Official U.S. Navy Page via flickr.

Photo: Official U.S. Navy Page via Flickr.

In recent weeks, advocates were hopeful for the passage of legislation that would have allowed Georgia dental hygienists to work in safety net settings, such as long-term care facilities, schools and nonprofit clinics, without a dentist present.

The state has roughly 150 federally designated dental provider shortage areas, and supporters of the measure said the auxiliaries would bring care to people who are otherwise going without. Continue reading