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October 2015

 

 

 

This second annual edition of Perspectives on the Midlevel Practitioner provides a status update on the dental hygiene profession. As the expanded role of dental hygienists becomes an increasingly popular topic, one thing is clear: dental hygienists can make a significant impact in addressing the access-to-care gap. Perspectives includes articles on many pertinent topics such as legislation affecting dental hygiene practice, alternative practice settings, and the ongoing transformation of dental hygiene education. Dimensions hopes you find this resource helpful in shaping your career, no matter which professional path you choose.

Introduction

 

The Rising Tide of Change
The expansion of the dental hygienist's scope of practice through the introduction of the midlevel practitioner is reshaping the profession for the 21st century.
By Lorene G. Kent, RDH, BA
 

 

Policy And Regulation

 

Examining The Access-to-Care Problem
Many Americans go without professional oral health care services, but both public and private efforts are underway to change this.
By Michele Carr, RDH, MA
 

Legislating The Midlevel Practitioner
In response to the burgeoning access-to-care crisis, many states are considering the addition of a new member to the oral health care team—the midlevel practitioner.
 

 

Education

 

The Midlevel Practitioner Moves Forward
The Commission on Dental Accreditation's decision to implement accreditation standards for dental therapy education cements the role of expanded workforce models in solving the access-to-care problem.
By Frank Catalanotto, DMD
 

Transforming Education
The American Dental Hygienists' Association is working to ensure educational programs are adequately preparing dental hygienists for the new health care landscape.
By Pamela Steinbach, RN, MS
 

 

Organizations Making A Difference

 

Advancing New Workforce Models
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supported Alaska's efforts to create a new midlevel practitioner and remains dedicated to ensuring access to oral health care for America's children and youth.
By Alice M. Warner, PhD
 

Expanding Access Through Midlevel Practitioners
The Pew Charitable Trusts investigates the conditions surrounding the nation's access-to-care crisis and proposes solutions.
By Jane Koppelman
 

Catalyst For Change
The American Dental Hygienists' Association holds a leadership role in the development and implementation of new workforce models.
By Ann Lynch
 

 

Delivery of Care

 

Drivers of Change
As the provision of dental care undergoes transformation, the interest in dental service organizations is growing.
By Tammy L. Filipiak, RDH, MS
 

Promote, Prevent, Protect
The role of public health dental hygienists continues to expand as they provide essential functions to vulnerable populations.
By Christine Farrell, RDH, BSDH, MPA
 

Practice Settings

 

Treating Patients In Long-Term Care Facilities
Registered dental hygienists in alternative practice provide care to this underserved population via a unique business model.
By Susan McLearan, BSDH, MS, RDHAP
 

An Innovative Solution For Reaching The Underserved
California's Virtual Dental Home program is increasing access to care, while also providing opportunities for midlevel practitioners.
By Mireya Rodriguez, RDHAP
 

Ensure The Oral Health Of Children
Dental hygienists play a valuable role in Head Start programs by providing preventive services and oral health education.
By L. Whitney Howerton, RDH, BS, BA
 

Going Back To Dental Hygiene's Roots
School-based oral health care programs have a long and successful history in the profession of dental hygiene.
By Cynthia C. Amyot, RDH, EdD
 

Looking Ahead

 

Shaping Our Communities of Practice
By embracing change and incorporating humanism into the oral health care delivery system, dental professionals have the power to positively impact the future of dentistry.
By Lucinda J. Lyon, RDH, DDS, EdD
 

A Glimpse Into a Charity Mobile Dental Program
Dental hygienists explain through a Q&A the unique angle of the St. David’s Foundation, which provides oral health care services to at-need patients
By Polly Elbertse, BA, RDH; Cassandra Nutter, BSDH, RDH; Betsy Lindholm, RDH; Nga Villanueva, BA, BSDH, RDH; and Shirley Creed, RDH
 

 
 

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