January 2023 Social Commentary
If you could change one thing about the profession of dental hygiene, what would it be?
License portability. ALL programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) graduate competent dental hygienists who maintain the same standards. At the same time, obtaining the dental hygiene license in ALL states requires graduating from a CODA-accredited program. Yet, license portability is still a challenge!
Self regulation—controlling the destiny of our own scope of practice.
The lack of benefits in our field. Many dental hygienists work part-time in multiple offices, leaving them without the opportunity for benefits. Working more than one part-time position adds up to full-time work for some dental hygienists, like me. I was able to negotiate with my offices but not all hygienists are able to do so.
Reciprocity, autonomy, and independent practice in all 50 states.
The limited services offered by insurance companies. The dental hygiene profession is alive and well but is being held back by the almighty dollar.
Self-regulation. Nobody knows the breadth and depth of our education better than we do. If we could change that, everything else would naturally follow.
The line between dentists as “hard tissue specialists” and dental hygienists as “soft tissue specialists” would be more clearly delineated to patients.
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From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. January 2023; 21(1)11.