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From the President

Tonya Enright Recently, IDHA has been working hard on behalf of the public health and safety of all Iowans through legislative meetings, Lobby Day, and IDHA Board of Trustees meetings. This message serves as an update of IDHA's current events.

House Study Bill 153
House Study Bill 153 was submitted by the Iowa Dental Board with proposed language changes.

House Study Bill 153 attempted to update Iowa law as it relates to scope of practice for both dental hygienists and dental assistants. Current law, which was adopted in 2000, prohibits the Dental Board from adopting rules that would allow a dental assistant to:
1. Administer local anesthesia 2. Place sealants
3. Remove any plaque, stain, calculus, or hard natural or synthetic material except by toothbrush, floss, or rubber cup coronal polish.

HSB 153 would have allowed dental assistants who receive additional training to place sealants. That part of the bill is not in controversy. Current rules would have only allowed Expanded Function Level 2 Dental Auxiliary Dental Assistants to place sealants upon receiving the appropriate training.

The part of the HSB in controversy would have changed the third item above to apply to only calculus or hard natural material. The Iowa Dental Hygienists Association asked for an amendment that would restore this language back to something similar to the current language. The amendment IDHA proposed read:

o The dental board shall not adopt rules that would allow a dental assistant to administer local anesthesia, or remove, except by toothbrush, floss, or rubber cup coronal polish, any plaque, stain, calculus or hard natural material.

IDHA had significant concerns regarding the public health impact of allowing under-trained individuals to complete instrumentation using hand instruments, ultrasonic power scalers, or air driven polishing devices to remove plaque, stain, calculus, or hard natural material from teeth. Unlike the sealant issue, in which the dental board and other members of the dental community spent a considerable amount of time developing an EFDA2 training program, no such training model exists for dental assistants to complete patient instrumentation to competencies similar to those required for Dental Hygienists through the Commission on Dental Accreditation. No model has yet been discussed by the dental board, and the only approach discussed so far would be on the job training, which IDHA believes would not adequately protect the public health.

After meeting with the Iowa Dental Board and Iowa Dental Association representatives regarding proposed amendments from all sides, an agreement could not be reached. Therefore, a vote was needed on whether or not to support HSB 153 as originally written by the IDB.

At the March IDHA Board of Trustees meeting, the vote to support HSB 153 as originally submitted by the IDB was made. However, the Iowa Dental Association took a different vote that would only support HSB 153 if the language prohibiting the IDB from allowing dental assistants to remove calculus or hard natural material was struck from the bill. Because no consensus was reached, legislators from both the House and the Senate have decided to not move forward with this bill for this year. That means no progress on the settings language, but means no change on sealants or plaque/stain/calculus/hard natural material as well.

Future Plans 1. IDHA will continue to discuss long-term goals with ADHA as we plan for future actions, including steps that promote membership so we are better prepared to defend scope of practice issues as they arise, especially scope of practice issues that pose potential threats to public health. 2. IDHA will seek a meeting with Iowa Dental Assistants Association to ascertain an opinion on whether the dental assistant group is in support or opposition of supra gingival scaling as a role of a dental assistant. 3. IDHA will build coalitions that support expanding the role of the dental hygienist in all practice settings. 4. IDHA will continue to reach out to the Iowa Dental Association to support collaborations that promote safe and effective delivery of dental care in Iowa. 5. IDHA will continue to educate all Iowans on the role that dental hygienists play in overall systemic health.

Again, thank you for your support in IDHA and please be active members of our association—OUR voices are needed now more than ever! Tonya

Member Spotlight

Vicki ChaneyName: Vicki Chaney
Residence: North Liberty, Iowa
Years in Dental Hygiene: 8 years 
Years of Membership: One year for IDHA and 6 years for ADHA 
Family: Husband, Evan, of 6 years and a sassy Pomeranian, “Tilley”

How I got Interested in DH: I have always admired a great smile from the time I can remember. Growing up, we rarely went to the dentist. Mom would take us if we had pain but we rarely went for preventative care. A trip to the dentist always sounded like SO much fun to me when I was a little girl. Getting our teeth and gums treated is such a luxury and a necessary part of total health, and I am grateful to get to be a part of prevention.

Favorite Instrument: Hu-Friedy EverEdge 2.0 Barnhart 5/6
Memorable Hygiene Moment: I used to treat an elderly gentleman who was in his 90’s. He’d come see me every 3 months and we talked and laughed about everything. I adored him. He past about 2 years after I met him. Often times, patients will have more of an impact on you than you do on them. 

Upcoming Events


June 21-23, 2019   CLL/ADHA Annual Session   Louisville, KY