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Meet Your Current President

Tonya EnrightTonya Enright, CDA, RDH, EdD(c) is full-time dental assisting faculty at Hawkeye Community College and Program Director of the Bachelor of Health Sciences Dental Hygiene program at Allen College, Waterloo, IA. Tonya has been working with Upper Iowa University to implement a Bachelor of Science Health Services Administration with an emphasis in Dental Hygiene program and anticipates opening in the Fall of 2018! Tonya is also a Deputy Examiner for the Central Regional Dental Testing Services and a Master Reviewer for Quality Matters.

Prior to these roles, she served as the Dental Administrative Chair and dental hygiene faculty at Hawkeye Community College. She practiced clinical dental hygiene for twelve years, with the majority of the years for Dr. Joseph Zuccaro, DDS in Dubuque, Iowa.

In addition to her roles in the dental hygiene and dental assisting programs, she is busy preparing her dissertation in the Doctor of Education in Health Professions Education Program, anticipating graduation in August, 2018 from Allen College. Previously, she earned her Master's in Education (MEd) from Iowa State University; a Bachelor's in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) from Northern Arizona University; Associate in Applied Sciences-Dental Hygiene (RDH) from Hawkeye Community College; and is a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) after graduating from Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, IA.

Tonya was raised in Galena/Scales Mound, IL. After becoming a dental hygienist, she moved to Iowa to practice clinical dental hygiene. With a passion to always learn more, she pursued dental hygiene education. She now lives in Independence, Iowa with her husband, Dennis, and three sons--Peyton, Ashton, and Benton. In her free time, she enjoys watching her children play sports, traveling, boating, swimming, and camping with family and friends. She is very passionate about keeping higher education in dental hygiene an option in Iowa, and an advocate for advancing our dental hygiene profession.

Member Spotlight

Amy CaseyName: Amy Casey

Residence: Cedar Rapids

Years in hygiene: 4

Years of membership: 4

Family: Husband Ryan, Kids- Phillip 19, Clarissa 16, Caleb 14, and Harper 7

How I got interested in dental hygiene: I was a dental assistant for many years prior to going back to school. My original plan was to go to dental school. Life happened and we ended up adopting my biological niece and nephew when they were 13 and 10. We went from a family of 4 to a family of 6 overnight. I was not guaranteed to get into dental school but I knew I could get into hygiene school. I needed to make some money so I decided to take that route. I am glad that I did. I am able to create a relationship with my patients and I can teach them and bond with them and I don’t have all of the stressors of being a dentist. I love my career and am glad I chose this path.

Favorite instrument: My favorite is the one that helps me get the calculus off the easiest!

Memorable hygiene moment: I was subbing at an office and they had a “free clinic” afternoon that I volunteered to do. I saw a patient that had never been to a dentist-or it had been a few decades. He was so grateful when I showed him the before and after photos of his mouth. He had tears in his eyes. That is what makes it worth it, when you have a patient who is motivated and eager to learn. It makes it all worthwhile.


Legislative Update


Before you vote on November 6th, take the opportunity to meet the candidates.  First know who your Iowa legislators are by googling Iowa Legislature and click on “find your legislator”.  Enter your address and your Senator and Representative will appear.  Representatives serve a two year term so all are up for re-election this year.  Senators serve a four year term.  Those serving an odd numbered district are running for election this year and in two years, those in even districts will run.  Legislators and candidates remember people who help in their campaigns.  Attend forums and debates or offer to make phone calls reminding people to vote.  Be their dental resource for issues that arise related to dentistry. During the year, continue attending local legislative forums, subscribing to legislators’ newsletters, e-mailing them about issues relating to health and wellness and ones that are of importance to you.

IDHA issued 24 PAC checks to those legislators who could be influential for us.  Thank you to those members who delivered the checks and visited with legislators about dental hygiene issues.


A rule change regarding the application of silver diamine fluoride by dental hygienists working under public health supervision has been approved by the Administrative Rules Committee.  The rule stipulates that hygienists working under public health supervision (along with the supervising dentist) must first complete a course/webinar that includes Iowa Dental Board protocols for the use of silver diamine fluoride.  The University of Iowa offers this Board approved program.

Dental hygienists working under the general supervision of a dentist can already use this medicament in their practice without attending any course on the topic.  The supervising dentist in this situation is also not required to take a class on this subject.  It is understood that both dental hygienists and dentists would familiarize themselves with the material before using it in their practices.

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) Facts and Use of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

Iowa’s own Mary Kelly, MS, RDH, BS wrote an article for the November 2017 issue of ADHA Access magazine on SDF. It is a three page article. Here is the link to the article:


Another rule change introduced by the Iowa Dental Board and approved by the Administrative Rules Committee was to change the language regarding the employment of a dental hygienist. The change eliminates the requirement that a dental hygienist be an employee or independent contractor of the dentist.  The changing nature of dental practice ownership drove this change.  Corporations can now own a practice and hire dentists and dental hygienists.  A dental hygienist can actually own a practice while still being supervised by the employed dentist.  This in NO WAY is to be construed as independent practice by the dental hygienist.


Still another rule change voted on by the Iowa Dental Board was to reduce the clinical practice requirement from three years to one year for a dental hygienist to work in a public health setting.  The employing agency and supervising dentist will determine what capabilities and qualities a potential employee must have to carry out the responsibilities needed for the job.

Upcoming Events

October 5-6th: Iowa Mission of Mercy in Sioux City, Iowa

January 18, 2019: EPC meeting in Waterloo, IA 7pm

January 19, 2019: BOT meeting at HCC, Waterloo, IA 9am