Advocacy Update Summer 2017


Dental Licensure


With the release of ASDA’s white paper, the dental community has been pushing for a method for Licensure other than through the use of human subjects.  Licensure reform may not impact us directly, but will have a strong impact on future dental students.  As students we are not seeking an alternative pathway to licensure as a means to bypass the current processes in place.  The current broadly accepted licensure exams put our patients trust and morals into question.  Gratefully, this will be changing in the upcoming years and we will play a large role in making these changes at the state level.


The ADA supports our movement for a nationally accepted exam that does no use human subjects.  The ADA Trustees voted in the spring to create a national licensure exam named the Dental Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Exam (DLOSCE).  The ADA’s goal is to have this exam accepted by each state and eliminate the use of patients from the licensure process.  The pilot year is 2019 with deployment in 2020.  This exam will have a strong impact on dental students’ means for licensure in the upcoming years.


Other alternative pathways to licensure are completing postgraduate education for at least one year (PGY1).  Within our district, Ohio is the only state to currently have this alternate pathway to licensure.


Midlevel Providers


The midlevel provider has been a controversial issue dentistry in the recent decade.  These individuals have not attended an accredited four year dental program or three years in the case of the University of the Pacific School of dentistry and are performing irreversible procedures to the public.  Education programs for midlevel providers were developed to combat barriers to care in rural populations, but the regulation of the populations they serve is sparse with the laws in place.


The ADA’s movement away from midlevel provider has been the Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC).  CDHC’s perform outreach, community outreach, and preventive services.  CDHC’s may have experience as hygienists, assistants, or community health workers. They are a means of expanding the knowledge and confirming the importance for oral health in the community. 


Dentistry and Health Care


The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA).  The AHCA passed in the House on May 4th and has been sent to the Senate.  The ADA supports the expansion of the use of health savings and flexible spending accounts. The largest concerns are the changes to the Medicaid program and government tax credits. Read the "6 ways the AHCA may affect your dental practice" to see how the ACHA will effect providers and their patients.


The Action for Dental Health Act of 2017 unanimously passed in the House on June 29th. This legislation calls for Congress to authorize additional oral health promotion and disease prevention programs. This bill would allow for organizations to qualify for oral health grants to expand outreach and education of children and adults and aid in finding their dental home.



How to stay up to date on legislative activities?


  1. ASDA’s Advocacy Brief

  2. ADA Morning Huddle

  3. ASDA’s Engage

  4. Local and State Dental Societies