ADHA: Dental Therapists Now Recognized in Vermont

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is proud to announce the creation of a dental therapist in Vermont. Vermont joins Maine and Minnesota in recognizing these oral health workforce models, along with tribal lands in Alaska.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed Senate Bill 20 into law on June 20, 2016. This new member of the oral health team would increase access for Vermonters and provide additional career opportunities for dental hygienists.
To be licensed as a dental therapist in Vermont, among other requirements, you must be a licensed dental hygienist and complete a dental therapy graduate program from an institution accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

The dental therapist will provide oral health care services that include: prevention, evaluation, and assessment; education; palliative therapy; and restoration under the general supervision of a dentist within the parameters of a written collaborative agreement. The collaborative agreement outlines the practice settings and
supervision required. A sample of the oral health care services a dental therapist
may perform include:

  • Oral health instruction and disease prevention education, including nutritional
    counseling and dietary analysis.
  • Exposing radiographs.
  • Oral evaluation and assessment of dental disease.
  • Dental prophylaxis.
  • Applying topical preventive or prophylactic agents, including fluoride varnishes,
    antimicrobial agents, and pit and fissure sealants.
  • Administering local anesthetic.
  • Placement of temporary restorations.
  • Interim therapeutic restorations.
  • Placement of temporary and preformed crowns.
  • Formulating an individualized treatment plan, including services within the dental
    therapist’s scope of practice and referral for services outside the dental therapist’s
    scope of practice.
  • Prescribing, dispensing, and administering analgesics, anti-inflammatories, and
    antibiotics, except Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances.
  • Administering nitrous oxide.
  • Extractions of primary teeth.
  • Restoring primary and permanent teeth, not including permanent tooth crowns,
    bridges, veneers, or denture fabrication.

ADHA strives to expand access to oral health care for all Americans. Its policies
support the development of a mid-level oral health practitioner defined as a
licensed dental hygienist who has graduated from an accredited dental hygiene
program and who provides primary oral health care directly to patients to promote
and restore oral health through assessment, diagnosis, treatment, evaluation and
referral services. This provider must meet the educational requirements to provide
services within an expanded scope of care and practices under regulations set forth
by the appropriate licensing agency.

View the press release here.