Illinois Passes Bill to Help Ease Shortage of Oral Health Professionals
Dental practices in the state of Illinois have struggled to fill staff vacancies since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This problem exists throughout the United States, and states are trying a variety of strategies to recruit more dental team members. Illinois recently passed a bill designed to alleviate this situation. Signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on May 27, the bill expands the ability of dental assistants to perform coronal scaling above the gumline on children ages 17 and younger who are covered by Medicaid, without dental insurance, or whose families’ incomes are lower than 300% of the federal poverty level. The bill also enables dental hygienists to provide care in long-term care facilities without the direct supervision of a dentist after a dentist completes an oral evaluation via teledentistry. In addition, public health dental hygienists will be able to care for patients in long-term care facilities without an examination by a dentist as long they maintain a collaborative agreement with a dentist. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2023. Click here to read more.