Reconnecting Practicing Hygienists with the Nation's Leading Educators and Researchers.

Statement from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association on the December 7 Issue of Health Affairs on Oral Health

Statement from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association on the December 7 Issue of Health Affairs on Oral Health The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is pleased that Health Affairs recognizes the enormous impact oral health has on the overall public

Statement from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association on the December 7 Issue of Health Affairs on Oral Health

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is pleased that Health Affairs

recognizes the enormous impact oral health has on the overall public health system in the

U.S. by devoting an entire issue to the subject. ADHA has long advocated evidence-based

oral health management strategies for the prevention of oral and systemic diseases. In fact,

ongoing research efforts are underway examining the association between periodontal

(gum) disease and heart and lung disease, diabetes, premature, low birth weight babies and

many other conditions. The 2000 Surgeon General’s report, Oral Health in America, called

attention to this association and stated that, if left untreated, poor oral health is a “silent X-

factor promoting the onset of life-threatening diseases which are responsible for the deaths

of millions of Americans each year.” As such, the ADHA believes that integrating dental

hygienists into the healthcare delivery system as essential primary care providers to expand

access to oral health care will help improve the public’s overall health. 

 This is why proper dental hygiene diagnosis is critical in identifying and treating early risk

factors for more serious health concerns. Over the past two decades, we have collaborated

with New York Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) and School of Public Health at

the State University of New York-Albany (SUNY) to update the Dental Hygiene Professional

Index (DHPPI). In her Health Affairs article, Margaret Langelier and her SUNY coauthors

examined the increase of dental hygienists’ scope of practice between 2001 and 2014 and

found a positive correlation between a state’s more autonomous scope of practice and the

oral health of that state’s adult population. Far too often scope of practice limitations

impede the ability of dental hygienists to provide the full spectrum of services they are

educated to deliver. By reducing supervisory requirements for dental hygienists, it is ADHA’s

hope that the gap between dental and medical care narrows for the benefit of our patients. 

 ADHA advocates the inclusion of dental hygienists in the development of federal, state and

local policies that support improved oral health and wellness. As such, we are committed to

collaborative partnerships and coalitions with other organizations that improve access to

care for our most vulnerable populations.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy