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From the President

Tonya Enright Greetings all dental hygienists in Iowa, and thank you for taking time to read my message! As 2018 nears the end, I hope each of you enjoy the upcoming weeks and have blessed holidays with your loved ones. This year has been eventful for IDHA, and I want to share the details with you.

Over the past few months, IDHA has been very busy collaborating on upcoming events and advocating for our profession. Recently, I attended the ADHA's Unleashing Your Potential (UYP) leadership workshop in Chicago with 22 other dental hygiene leaders from across the United States. What an amazing and energizing three days! The leaders of ADHA provided us with a wealth of information and I found that a lot of our states have similar goals and face challenges alike. One main thing alike is the value to align with the vision of the ADHA. The goals of our association are to follow those of the American Dental Hygienists' Association. Please take a moment to review what the ADHA has determined in the strategic plan on the website. Key words: Unite, empower, leadership, support, integrated health care delivery system, improve oral health, resources, and advocacy.

Our vision and goals focus on each of us and our profession. One major concern is membership of our association, as enrollment is declining, not only in Iowa, but nationally. I point out this out to let you know that IDHA has been hard at work for you; collaborating with IDA, the Iowa Dental Board and legislators to remain informed of proposed legislative actions that impact the community, profession and each of us. Please take time to review the legislative update on our website.

My main message I want to resonate is, your voice, presence, and active involvement are crucial to maintain and advance our profession in the state and national level. Another reason to be a member is to keep informed of what is happening nationally. The ADHA continues to advocate for dental hygiene—recently at the White House and again with the Federal Trade Commission. Several states have taken action to implement a dental therapy model to improve access to oral health care. We must be thinking of the future of dental hygiene in Iowa and improve oral health in our communities—and there is no better time than now!

Together, WE WILL SOAR!
Tonya Enright, CDA, RDH, BSDH, MEd, EdD(c)

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