My Fellow Hygienists,
Knox Area Dental Hygienists’ Association (KADHA) is excited to present our calendar of meetings for 2022-2023.
I hope you will be able to attend regularly and take advantage of the CEUs that will be offered.
The profession of Dental Hygiene, as we have known for decades, is being threatened on many fronts nationally and locally as more and more efforts are being pursued, as well as being accomplished, to allow less trained individuals perform the services we were rigorously trained for. Not to mention the back-breaking hours we have endured honing our skills. The services we are privileged to provide for our patients are integral to their oral/periodontal and overall health.
According to ADHA’s “Practice Act Overview”, 30 states allow hygienists to “provide services as s/he determines appropriate without specific authorization” in public settings. This provides access to care to the under-privileged. TNDHA presented a similar bill to Tennessee Legislature in 2021 and 2022 to no avail. One of the ways your ADHA membership helps advance the cause of Dental Hygiene is through our lobbyist. Our lobbyist is committed to our profession and our cause. They fight for us.
Recently, Illinois became the second state to allow assistants to do “coronal” scaling. The patients must be 12 years of age or younger, have Medicaid or be uninsured, or be at poverty level. For assistants to certify in coronal polishing they must have one-year full-time assisting experience, have coronal polishing certification, and take a 16-hour scaling certification course. The Dental Institute of Illinois Licensed Continuing Education offers the 2-day, 16-hour course for $1350.00. The clinical portion of the course may be performed on a live patient or a mannequin. The assistant must pass a coronal polishing exam, then under the direction of a dentist complete 6 full-mouth coronal scalings which must pass the supervised dentist’s approval.
In a News Medical Life and Science article titled “Hygienists brace for pitched battles with dentists in fights over practice laws states: Dave Marsh, a lobbyist for the Illinois dental society, said it would be dangerous for hygienists to treat nursing home residents, who are often elderly and sick. “I just don’t feel anybody with a two-year associate degree is medically qualified to correct your health,” Marsh added. “They’re trained to clean teeth. They take a sharp little instrument and scrape your teeth. That’s what they do. That’s all they do.”
We all know that having a healthy mouth is vital to having a healthy body. And I don’t need to tell you that we do so much more than “take a sharp little instrument and scrape teeth”.
With the ever-increasing costs of providing dental care, legislation such as this is much closer to Tennessee than any of us would like to imagine. Help legislators hear our voice.
Please join us this year by attending KADHA meetings. Please consider uniting your voice with TNDHA by joining ADHA. Legislators look at numbers. We need to show a united front to advance as well as protect our profession. Dues can be paid quarterly. That’s a little over $25.00 a month. With a TNDHA membership KADHA monthly CE’s are paid for! Help us join the fight and protect our profession.
Debbie Taylor, KADHA President
Meet the Officers
Liason to RDH Schools
Continuing Education Chair