Perspectives on the Midlevel Practitioner
The fourth annual edition of Perspectives on the Midlevel Practitioner investigates the roles of oral health promotion, expanded scope of practice for dental hygienists, and development of curricula for dental therapists in improving access to care for the United States’ most vulnerable populations. Progress is being made as evidenced in the legislative update, which shows the growth of legislation to expand scope of practice and adopt midlevel practitioners. The issue also includes discussion of some very innovative ways to provide oral health services to the populations that need it most—from a volunteer-based payment system to the use of dental health aide therapists on tribal lands. Mary Otto, author of the poignant book Teeth, reminds us that we have a long way to go, but she also remains hopeful that we can—and must—do better.
THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT
By Lorene G. Kent, RDH, BA
SCOPE OF PRACTICE
WHAT’S NEW ON THE LEGISLATIVE FRONT
Efforts to reduce restrictions on dental hygiene practice and expand the midlevel practitioner model are helping to improve access to care.
TOP-OF-LICENSE DENTAL HYGIENE PRACTICE
Dental hygiene scope of practice regulation significantly impacts oral health outcomes in state populations.
By Margaret Langelier, MSHSA, and Simona Surdu, MD, PhD
MODEL DENTAL THERAPY CURRICULUM INTRODUCED
As more states strengthen and modernize their oral health delivery systems via dental therapy, schools now have an important resource to develop high-quality training programs to educate this emerging workforce.
By Jane Koppelman
STANDARDS FOR DENTAL THERAPY AND DENTAL HYGIENE EDUCATION
The American Dental Hygienists’ Association continues to advocate for appropriate education standards for both dental hygiene and new workforce models.
By Ann Battrell, MSDH, and Ann Lynch
THE COMPLEXITY OF CURRICULA DEVELOPMENT
The efforts required to develop a new curriculum and ready it for the extensive evaluation processes are significant.
By Linda D. Boyd, RDH, RD, EdD
EXPANDING DENTAL HYGIENE TO THE DOCTORAL LEVEL
Doctoral-level education is necessary to prepare dental hygienists to be health care providers who will challenge prevailing thinking, test theories, lead interprofessional teams, and develop policies to improve oral health.
By JoAnn R. Gurenlian, RDH, MS, PhD
FOCUS ON STATES
A MARYLAND PERSPECTIVE ON EXPANDING SCOPE OF PRACTICE
The journey was arduous but worth it for dental hygienists who gained the ability to provide direct access care and administer anesthesia.
By Deborah L. Cartee, RDH, MS, and Marion C. Manski, RDH, MS
REFLECTIONS FROM MINNESOTA
The leader of a nonprofit public health organization shares her experience on the impact of dental therapists in Minnesota.
By Sarah Wovcha, JD, MPH
INTERIM THERAPEUTIC RESTORATIONS
Dental hygienists with additional education can use this powerful tool in caries stabilization.
By Gwen Essex, RDH, MS, EdD
TRIBAL COMMUNITIES EXPAND ACCESS TO CARE
Native communities in Oregon and Washington are using dental health aide therapists to help improve oral health access and outcomes.
By Christina Peters
VOLUNTEERISM IN EXCHANGE FOR DENTAL CARE
This concept is helping to improve access to care in Michigan.
By Lorene R. Kline, RDH, BS, MS, and Anne E. Gwozdek, RDH, BA, MA
ACCESS TO CARE
A HEARTBREAKING LOOK AT AMERICAS DENTAL CRISIS
Author Mary Otto shares her insight on the status of oral health care delivery in the United States and the radical change it needs to better serve disadvantaged populations.