The Bulletin Winter 2007
- Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association -
P.O.Box 2161 • Methuen, MA 01844 • 1-800-MASS-DHA • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.massdha.org
A Message fr om the MDHA Pr esident
This past fall I met with our Council on Regulation and present the MDHA Student Scholarship Award. This year’s winner
Practice, as well as with our Governmental Affairs Consultant, was Angela Emond, a second-year student attending Bristol
Charles Glick, to discuss professional issues that are important to Community College. MDHA believes the need to honor those stu-
our association and the advancement of preventive oral health in dents who demonstrate and interest in the future of our profession
our state. As a result of more than a year of dedicated work, the through their involvement as members of SADHA.
Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association filed two pieces of Even though 2007 has already begun, it’s not too late to
legislation on January 10, 2007, to improve the direct access of make one more New Year’s Resolution…and it’s an easy one to
preventive oral health care to our most needy residents and to keep! If you aren’t a member become one; if you know a dental
secure a stronger voice for dental hygiene on the Massachusetts hygienist who isn’t a member, share why you are a member and
Board of Registration in Dentistry, (see the article on page 8). offer them the membership application inside this newsletter (page
“An Act to increase Access to Oral Health Services” 13); and finally, if you are a member I invite you to become more
would allow dental hygienists to work in various public health set- involved.
tings, including nursing homes, schools, community health cen-
ters, Head Start programs without the supervision of a dentist. Marybeth Languirand, RDH
Dental hygienists would enter into a collaborative agreement with
a dentist, working in private practice, a local or state government
agency, or institution, who would provide the “appropriate level of
communication and consultation with the hygienist to ensure
safety and patient health”.
The second piece of legislation, “To Increase the Pre-
sence of Dental Hygienists on the Board of Registration in
Dentistry”, would increase our representation from the one to
three dental hygienists and would increase our professions posi-
tion on key public policy health issues in our state.
In November, Massachusetts Dental Hygienists formed a
Political Action Committee (PAC). The MDH-PAC provides all
dental hygienists in Massachusetts a political voice and allows us
to support legislative candidates/leaders that align themselves
with the views and issues that are important to dental hygiene.
Fundraising is currently underway to support the PAC and its leg-
islative agenda, and remember… no donation is too small, (see the
article on page 16).
On March 27th MDHA will be hosting “Dental Hygiene
at the State House”. This offers us an opportunity to focus atten-
tion on the profession of dental hygiene with our state legislative
leaders. A full-day of activities have been planned and each den-
tal hygienist in attendance will receive three (3) free continuing
education credits, (see the information on pages 10 & 11).
In January at Yankee Dental Congress, I had the opportu-
nity to be a guest speaker at the District I SADHA meeting. The
meeting was hosted by the New Hampshire Technical Institute and
offered informational presentations from each Constituent in
District I, as well as ADHA’s President Elect, Jean Connor. There
was an open forum discussion on professional issues that includ-
ed national and state health care issues pertinent to the profession Marybeth Languirand awards MDHA Scholarship to
of dental hygiene. During this meeting, I had the opportunity to Angela Emond
FORSYTH SCHOOL ANNOUNCES TWO MAJOR GIFTS
BOSTON- The Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences announced last week
that it has received two major gifts. The first gift, a $3 million endowment grant, has been given by Delta Dental of Massachusetts. The
grant will not only fund a new, full-time professorship of community oral health but also support the development of a Master of
Science in Dental Hygiene program. The new Master’s program will focus upon the provision and administration of community oral
health care programs, as well as the education of future dental hygiene faculty members.
In addition to developing and administering the Master’s program, the professor of community oral health will be charged with
implementing and expanding community service programs in Boston, particularly for elderly, disabled or homeless residents. Enhanced
outreach activities will include expanding student involvement with the Boston Medical Center Pediatric Dental Clinic, the
Massachusetts Dental Society Access to Care Van and Boston Public Schools. Other new initiatives will also likely include organizing
interdisciplinary teams of health care providers, involving both students and supervisors, that will deliver preventive screening servic-
es to underserved populations in nursing homes, homeless shelters and other communal living environments.
“This gift is intended to address systemic problems we’re seeing in underserved areas – thousands of residents lack access to
routine oral health care. We need more oral health professionals caring for people right in their neighborhood,” said Dr. Kathleen
O’Loughlin, President and CEO of Delta Dental of Massachusetts. “This is not about having a nice smile. It is a critical issue that affects
overall health – millions of school days and work hours are missed each year due to dental disease.”
The College has also received a $150,000 grant from Procter & Gamble (through its Crest and Oral-B divisions) that will be
used to enhance patient education and community outreach programs at the Esther M. Wilkins Forsyth Dental Hygiene Clinic in Boston.
In addition to enhancing patient education programs at the clinic, the grant will facilitate placement of dental hygiene students as active
participants in the Pediatric Dental Clinic at Boston Medical Center and the Massachusetts Dental Society's Access to Care van, fund-
ed in part by the Crest and Oral-B Healthy Smiles community outreach program.
"Crest and Oral-B are pleased to support the Forsyth program, which operates one of the most modern and advanced dental
hygiene clinics in the country," said Dr. Paul Warren, Vice President for Global, Professional and Scientific Relations at P & G. "Our
vision for the Crest Oral-B facility within the Esther Wilkins clinic is to create an area of excellence for oral health education that would
prove stimulating and meaningful for students, faculty and patients alike."
A puiblication of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association a constituent of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Association
BERKSHIRE: Joanne Williams-Simpson 413-243-9340
MDHA Officers CAPE COD: Rachel DeMello.....................508-548-0498
PRESIDENT: Marybeth Languirand .................978-957-9822 MERRIMACK: Peter Ganji.........................978-989-9938
PRESDIDENT-ELECT: Barbara Dawidjan..........508-799-2918 METROPOLITAN: Sue Cohen.................. .617-738-7086
VICE PRESIDENT: Trisha Willard....................... MIDDLESEX: Lisa LaSpina........................781-944-7196
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Lynn Bethel.....781-885-2771 NORTH SHORE: Laura Lurie.....................781-631-6846
SECRETARY: Maureen Strauss....................... 978-649-2426 SOUTHEASTERN: Laureen Brady............508-888-3068
ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Joan Cahill.............. 978-535-6893 SOUTH SHORE: Joan Powell................... 781-335-6535
TREASURER: Gita Jozsef Harris.....................413-623-2048 SPRINGFIELD: Lisa Aube......................... 413-562-5048
ASST. TREASURER: Colleen McKeon............. 413-283-6648 WACHUSETT: Linda Gallant....................978-537-8488
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Katherine Pelullo 978-874-2776 WORCESTER: Barbara Dawidjan.............508-799-2918
ADHA DELEGATES: Marybeth Languirand, Lynn Bethel, Barbara Dawidjan, Peter Gangi
ALTERNATE ADHA DELEGATES: Maureen Strauss, Trisha Willard
BUSINESS MANAGER: P.O. Box 2161
NEWSLETTER EDITOR: Lois Sobel Methuen, MA 01844
Lynn Bethel 117 Hillside Village Drive H: 978-989-9938
7 Platts Street West Boylston, MA 01583 W: 978-687-2290
Holbrook, MA 02343 H: 508-835-4658 1-800-MASS-DHA
H: 781-885-2771 C: 917-584-9288 E: email@example.com
C: 508-208-5259 E: firstname.lastname@example.org F: 978 687 2294
Mount Wachusett Community College
Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) second year students participated in oral health presentations at local
preschools, middle schools, and cancer centers throughout Fitchburg and Leominster in January and February as part of their commu-
nity dental health experience. Age-appropriate demonstrations were given to children and adults on topics such as oral hygiene, nutri-
tion, and tobacco use. Oral health screenings were performed on the preschooler’s to detect any potential problems, and information
sheets were sent home to their parents. Three groups of students visited over 200 3-5 year olds attending preschools at Fitchburg State
College, the Guild of St. Agnes, Busy Bee and the YMCA all in Fitchburg and the Bennett School in Leominster. The students also
made presentations at the Institute of Professional Practice in Westminster, as well as at the Simmons Cancer Center in Fitchburg.
These experiences have provided the students with an excellent opportunity to broaden their horizons as clinicians and educators, while
at the same time affording them the opportunity to become involved in the community.
In February, under the direction of Ellen McCracken, RDH, MEd, the students began implementing Fitchburg SEAL, a
school-based prevention program, at the B. F. Brown Middle School in Fitchburg. Following evidence-based recommendations the
students focus their program on 7th graders . The program provides every 7th grader with oral health information through an interac-
tive curriculum on topics such as sealants, tobacco use and oral piercing. All 7th grade students with parental consent receive a screen-
ing, referrals as needed, sealants and fluoride. The program, including clinical services, is provided on-site using portable dental equip-
ment. The students are working in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Oral Health and the
CHC Family Health Center in Fitchburg to ensure sustainability and expansion to serving all 7th graders in Fitchburg over the next 3
Women’s Oral Health
Women’s Health USA, 2006, the fifth edition of Women’s Health USA, presents a profile of women’s
health at the national level from a variety of data sources. The book includes information on population
characteristics, oral health indicators, and preventive oral health care. Racial and ethnic disparities and
gender differences in women’s health are highlighted. Access the data book online at:
Have You Ever
SAVE THE DATE Met A Cariologist?
National Oral Health Conference 2007
"Advancing Access & Taking Action for the Nation’s Oral On September 29-30, 2007, the Massachusetts Dental
Health" Hygienists’ Association will be hosting The Conference 2007:
April 30 – May 2, 2007 “Dental Hygiene…The Answer to Oral Healthcare for All”.
Held in Conjunction with 2007 Special Care Dentistry Annual Several nationally recognized experts in the field of oral disease
Meeting prevention for both the young and old will be presenting evi-
“The Aging of Special Needs Populations: Advancing Access, dence-based information on fluorides and fluoridation, osteoporo-
Advocacy, Education and Clinical Care” sis, oral cancer detection techniques, atraumatic restorative thera-
May 2 – 5, 2007 py (ART) and other related topics.
Marriott Denver Tech Center – Denver, CO One of the presenters will be Margherita Fontana, DDS,
FOR INFORMATION AND ONLINE REGISTRATION GO TO PhD, a native Venezuelan, who moved to the United States to pur-
www.nationaloralhealthconference.com sue her oral health research interests. Dr. Fontana has received
research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the
SAVE THE DATE for... ADHA’s 84th annual session American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, the Delta Dental
"One Voice One Vision" Fund, as well as private industry. An international speaker on car-
June 20-27, 2007 iology, Fontana currently lectures on cariology in the dental and
Sheraton New Orleans dental hygiene programs at Indiana University School of
New Orleans, LA. Dentistry where she is a tenured assistant professor in the
Registration materials will be Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry. She is the
available after January 1, 2007 director of the Microbial Caries Model Facility and the new Oral
at www.adha.org Biofilms in Caries Assessment and Management Research
SAVE THE DATE...MDHA’s Dr. Fontana’s research has provided guidelines on the
The Conference 2007 placement of dental sealants over incipient non-cavitated lesions
September 29-30, 2007 to arrest the disease progression. Dr. Fontana serves on the US
Natick Crowne Plaza. For Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Expert Panel on
updated information, course School Based Sealant Programs. This expert panel was compiled
and registration go to to develop guidelines for the assessment of caries in school-based
www.massdha.org and school-linked programs that serve children who may not oth-
erwise receive preventive dental care. To read one of Dr.
RDH FACT Fontana’s articles on sealants go to http://www.dimensionsofden-
Oral health resources in spanish can be talhygiene.com/ddhright.asp?id=872
downloaded from the CDC at The complete Conference 2007 Registration Brochure
http://www.cde.gov/spanish/dental/index.htm will be available at www.massdha.org on April 16th.
Preregistration begins on June 2, 2007.
Scientists Discover How Maternal Smoking
Can Cause Cleft Lip and Palate
Scientists supported by the National Institute of Dental and
Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institutes of
Health, report that women who smoke during pregnancy and carry a
fetus whose DNA lacks both copies of a gene involved in detoxifying
cigarette smoke substantially increase their baby’s chances of being born
with a cleft lip and/or palate. According to scientists, about a quarter of
babies of European ancestry and possibly up to 60 percent of those of
Asian ancestry lack both copies of the gene called GSTT1. Based on
their data, published in the January issue of the American Journal of Dr. Esther Wilkins and
Human Genetics, the scientists calculated that if a pregnant woman Past President, Lois Sobel
smokes 15 cigarettes or more per day, the chances of her GSTT1-lacking
North Shore Component
fetus developing a cleft increase nearly 20 fold. Globally, about 12 mil- members
lion women each year smoke though their pregnancies.
Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’
Association INVITES YOU TO
The Conference 2007
The Answer to
Oral Health Care
September 29-30, 2007
Crowne Plaze Hotel, Natick, MA
Margherita Fontana, DDS, PhD:
Professor, researcher and cariologist, Dr. Fontana is internationally recognized for her
work in the field of Cariology. She is also a distinguished member of the US Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Expert Panel on School-based Sealant
Nancy Carter, RDH, MPH: Assistant Dental Director Cincinnati Department of Health and
Principal Author of “Seal America,” a nationally used manual for developing school-based sealant pro-
Ellen Gould, RDH, MPA and Richard Neiderman, DMD: Researchers at the Forsyth
Institute focusing on community prevention programs incorporating Atraumatic Restorative Therapy (ART).
Judith Jones, DDS, MPH, DScD: Professor and nationally known expert on elders’ oral health
related to quality of life.
Check out our website www.massdha.org for updated course offerings.
After April 16th a downloadable conference program and registration form will be available.
Pre-registration begins on June 2, 2007
MDHA Attends Yankee Dental Congress 2007
MDHA was very active at Yankee Dental Congress in
January 2007. The Council on Education and Research hosted the
“New England Dental Hygiene Educator’s Forum” on Saturday,
January 27th. Twenty-five representatives attended from eight
dental hygiene schools throughout New England. Attendees
heard an update on the status of MDHA’s two legislative bills
from Charles Glick of Charles Group Consulting. Educators in
attendance from states outside of Massachusetts were able to offer
insights on similar legislation that exists in their states. Educators
also heard an update on the proposed changes to the rules and reg-
ulations governing dental hygiene practice from Jan Dibble,
RDH, and the dental hygiene member of the Board of Mary Kellerman, Carolyn Wehler and Joan Cahill at the
Registration in Dentistry. Both topics led to lively discourse and MDHA booth
open discussions about their individual impacts on dental hygiene
education and the future of the dental hygiene profession.
As in years past, MDHA maintained an exhibitor booth RDH FACT
supplying hygienists with information on membership and cur- 20 states allow direct access of
rent events affecting our profession. A special thank you goes out
to all the hygienists who helped staff the booth for three full days preventive services by a dental hygienist
inside the exhibit hall. Maybe you remember seeing our buttons in a variety of practice settings.
of a molar-shaped globe? If you haven’t yet received your
“World Tooth” button (see below), complete the adjacent Contact
Information Form and we’ll be happy to send one to you.
On Saturday, President Marybeth Languirand had the
pleasure of awarding a $500 scholarship from MDHA to Angela
Emond. Angela is a second-year dental hygiene student at Bristol
Community College (BCC). She was nominated for this scholar- friendly professionals you can trust
ship by the faculty at BCC. Angela, who resides in Somerset,
Massachusetts, was chosen from a pool of students nominated by ´Rent-A-Dent-Temps Inc. is an exceptional temporary agency
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G I E N I S T
Massachusetts Dental Hygienist
All dental hygienists’ who return a completed contact sheet will receive the
MDHA“World Tooth” button mailed to them
Street Address: ________________________________
City, State, Zip: ________________________________
Phones: (home) ________________________________
Please check the applicable boxes below:
I want to attend Dental Hygiene Day on Beacon Hill (March 27th).
Tell me more!
I want more information on the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’
Political Action Committee
I want to help with MDHA’s legislative efforts
I personally know a legislator (as a friend, patient, family member,
etc.) and would be willing to contact him/her. His/her name is
I’m willing to contact a legislator in person or write a letter on behalf
Mail this contact sheet to: MDHA, P.O. Box 2161, Methuen, MA 01844 OR
Fax the contact sheet to: 978-687-2294
MDHA Files Legislation on Beacon Hill
On January 10, 2007, two bills were filed in the Massachusetts legislature on behalf of MDHA: the first would allow hygien-
ists to practice in public health settings without the supervision of a dentist and the second seeks to expand the representation of den-
tal hygienists on the Board of Registration in Dentistry (BORID).
An Overview: Public Health Practice
The public health practice bill, H-2221 “An Act to Increase Access to Oral Health”, was filed by Rep. Smitty Pignatelli and
Sen. Dianne Wilkerson. This legislation allows registered dental hygienists to practice in public health settings, such as public schools,
Head Start programs, community health centers, and nursing homes, without a dentist’s supervision. Additionally it would allow den-
tal hygienists to be directly reimbursed by MassHealth (Medicaid). The legislation also requires dentists to not turn away patients sole-
ly because they are on MassHealth. Because preventive and restorative services are already covered under MassHealth, this bill would
increase preventive care to residents of Massachusetts at no additional cost to the state and will go a long way toward easing the access
to care crisis in our state.
According to statistics published by the Catalyst Institute in 2006, residents of Massachusetts lack access to quality oral health
care professionals. Of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, nearly 20% do not have a practicing dentist, and in the remaining 282
cities and towns, 30% do not have enough dentists. More than 50% of cities and towns in Massachusetts have no dentist willing to
accept MassHealth. In many parts of Massachusetts, it can take from six (6) months to one (1) year to be seen by a MassHealth den-
Because access to preventive care by a hygienist is tied to finding a dentist’s office willing to accept them as patients, minori-
ties, the poor, the uninsured, the chronically ill, the elderly, and those in rural parts of the Commonwealth often have no access to either
a dentist or a dental hygienist.
Under present law, dental hygienists can only deliver services under the supervision of a dentist, typically in a dental office.
However, twenty states, including the bordering states of Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Connecticut, present-
ly allow registered dental hygienists to treat patients in public health settings without a dentist’s supervision. In each state, the specifics
of how the laws are designed vary, so the models of care being delivered vary as well. Under the scope of this law, in the course of an
examination by a registered dental hygienist operating in a public health setting, all abnormalities will be referred to a practicing den-
tist for an oral examination, diagnosis, and treatment, as needed. Because even with expanded scope of practice for hygienists there is
no substitute for seeing a qualified dentist, the legislation also requires that dentists in Massachusetts not turn away patients solely
because they are on MassHealth.
An Overview: Board of Registration in Dentistry
The second bill filed on behalf of MDHA would increase the number of hygienists on the Board of Registration in Dentistry
(BORID). This bill, entitled “An Act to Increase the Presence of Dentil Hygienists on the Board of Registration in Dentistry”, HD-
3753 was filed by Rep. Peter Koutoujian and Sen. Susan Fargo.
Currently, the BORID has nine voting members: six dentists, one dental hygienist, and two consumer members. However,
there are more licensed dental hygienists in our state then there are dentists, ( ?? and ?? respectively). This bill would add two more
hygienists to the BORID, bringing the total number of voting members to eleven and helping to equalize the representation on the Board
that licenses all dental professionals.
(continued on page 12)
Esther Wilkins to speak
at the State House
Your invited to attend…
MDHA has filed legislation to expand the scope of prac-
tice for dental hygienists in public health settings and to expand
our representation on the Massachusetts Board of Registration in
Dentistry. Dental Hygiene Day on Beacon Hill is an opportunity
for our lawmakers to be introduced to the profession of dental
hygiene and the importance of preventive dentistry for all resi-
dents of our state.
This special day is an opportunity for every dental
hygienist licensed in Massachusetts to have his/her voice heard
on Beacon Hill. It is vitally important that organized detal
hygiene come together on Tuesday, March 27th and communi-
cate to all of our elected officials its support for expanding the
scope of dental hygiene practice so that all residents can have
access to a dental hygienist.
Your efforts have been hugely successful to date. After
our last Action Alert in January and thanks to your phone calls
and personal outreach efforts, 37 legislators have signed on in
support of our dental hygiene legislation and the impact we can
have on the public’s oral health. Congratulations on a job well
done! The bill was recently assigned to the Public Health
Committee of the House of Representatives as bill number H-
2221. We’ll keep you informed as we learn of new developments.
On March 27th, it will be equally important for us to
communicate our thoughts and concerns on other legislative mat-
ters that have the potential to negatively effect our profession,
such as the legislation that the Massachusetts Dental Society
(MDS) filed on January 10th. While dental hygienists are gen-
erally supportive of legislation that benefits the profession of our
colleagues, this legislation would allow dental assistants to scale
teeth, which has the potential to diminish the professional stand-
ing of our profession, eliminate dental hygiene positions,
decrease salaries, etc. (see MDS Files Legislation page 15).
We invite you to stand together with other dental hy-
gienists on Tuesday, March 27th to let our state legislative lead-
ers know who dental hygienists are and the impact we can have
in improving the oral health of the residents of our state.
Highlights from the day include a keynote address from Esther
Wilkins, the opportunity to meet with your individual legislators,
the ability to volunteer at the oral health screenings, and three (3)
free continuing education credits. Breakfast and lunch will be
provided and MDHA will help organize carpools for interested
This is a great way you can support your profession
and earn three (3) free continuing education credits at the same
time. A registration form is included in this newsletter (see
page 11) or one can be downloaded from our website,
www.massdha.org. Please take a moment to view the invita-
tion; then please let us know you will attend. See you on
Dental Hygiene Day at the State House
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Please join us for a day on Beacon Hill to
advance MDHA’s legislative agenda and pro-
tect dental hygiene’s interests at the State
House. All 200 legislators have been invited
MDHA has filed legislation to expand the
scope of practice for dental hygienists in pub-
lic health settings and to expand our represen-
tation on the Massachusetts Board of
Registration in Dentistry. Our day on Beacon
Hill is an opportunity for our lawmakers to be
introduced to the profession of dental hygiene
and the importance of preventive dentistry for
all residents of our state.
This special day is an opportunity for every dental hygienist licensed in Massachusetts to have his/her
voice heard on Beacon Hill. It is vitally important that organized dental hygiene communicate to our elected
officials its support for expanding the scope of dental hygiene practice so that all residents can have access to
a dental hygienist. It is equally important to communicate our thoughts and concerns on other legislative mat-
ters that have the potential to negatively effect our profession.
Please join us on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 and have your voice heard in support of dental hygiene.
9:30-10:00 am Breakfast and Registration
10:00-10:20 am Welcoming Remarks
10:20-10:25 am Presentation on MDHA’s Legislative Agenda
10:25-10:30 am Explanation of How to Lobby
10:30-10:45 am Key Note Address: Esther M. Wilkins, RDH, DMD
11:00- 3:00 pm Oral Health Screenings/Meeting with State Legislators
* Lunch will be available
** Three (3) free Continuing Education Credits for attendance at presentations and participation in screenings.
Registration is free, but limited, so please fill out the registration form
on the back of this invitation and return it today to ensure your participation.
- 10 -
MDHA Dental Hygiene Day at the
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
9:30AM to 3:00PM
* Home Address:____________________________________
* Please include your home address so that we can properly identify your
state senator and state representative.
______ I would like to car pool to the State House. Please put me in touch with another dental
hygienist in my area.
_____ I will travel to State House on my own.
Meeting with Legislators
_____Check here, if you would like to personally meet with your state legislator or a legislative
aide on March 27th to promote dental hygiene. Our Govermental Affairs Consultant will
schedule this appointment for you.
When your registration has been processed you will receive a confirmation email that
will include contact information for your state senator and state representative.
** Please contact your state senator and state representative and invite them to the Grand
Staircase on March 27th.
Mail or fax your registration form to:
Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association
P.O. Box 2161, Methuen, MA 01844 • Fax: 978-687-2294
- 11 -
MDHA Files Legislation on Beacon Hill (continued from page 8)
What You Have Done So Far:
Hygienists in Massachusetts have responded enthusiastically to the new bills with an outpouring of grassroots sup-
port. In January when the bills were first publicized, MDHA urged all hygienists and other interested parties to contact their
legislators. It is important that all legislators understand the importance on improving oral health in Massachusetts. We are
happy to report that you stepped up and answered the call! To date, 37 of the 200 Senators and Representatives on Beacon
Hill have sponsored or co-sponsored the public health practice bill. This is a tremendous result! The importance of a person-
al call or letter from a constituent to their legislators should never be undervalued. Your legislators listened and you had an
What You Can Do Next?
First, make sure we have your correct email address on file at our central office. Email is the best way for us to com-
municate to hygienists around the state when issues arise of a time-sensitive nature. How will you know if we have your cor-
rect email address? Well, if you have not received emails from us in January, then we do not have your correct email address.
If this is the case, please contact our central office with your correct information (email@example.com or 1-800-MASS-DHA)
or complete the Contact Information Form printed on page ??.
There is still time for Senators to co-sponsor legislation. (Unfortunately, the deadline has already passed for
Representatives to be added as co-sponsors.) However, if you haven’t yet called your Senator, please take a few moments to
do so. There are several oral health bills in the legislature this year, so make certain that you specify bill number H-2221. You
can easily locate contact information (phone numbers, email addresses, etc.) for your individual state legislators at
www.wheredoivotema.com. If you would like background information on what sorts of things to say when calling your leg-
islators, we would be happy to help; just contact Carolyn Wehler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Will MDHA Do Next?
House Bill H-2221 was recently assigned to the Public Health Committee and that Committee will study the issues
surrounding the proposed legislation. The Committee will hold public hearings, at which MDHA will provide testimony in
support of our bills. Dental hygienists and those in support of dental hygiene issues will also be asked to provide written
and/or verbal testimony also. We will continue to send out updates via email as the legislative process progresses. You had
a tremendous impact in January – be prepared for more activity in the months to come. We will continue to ask for your sup-
port (e.g. by attending Lobby Day on March 27th, calling your legislators, providing testimony) so be ready and stay tuned!
MDHA members enjoying the Friday night SADHA members and guests enjoying the Presidents’
- 12 -
MAIL: 444 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3400, Chicago, IL 60611
FAX: (312) 467-1806
- 13 -
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- 14 -
Massachusetts Dental Society Legislation
“AN ACT CONCERNING DENTAL AUXILIARIES (SD352)” was filed on behalf of the Massachusetts Dental
Society by State Senator Harriette Chandler. This legislation, if enacted, will result in significant modification to the definition
of a dental assistant, including the addition of four new categories of dental assistant. It will additionally add a new category of
dental hygienist. At its February 5, 2007 meeting, the MDHA Board of Trustees voted against supporting this legislation as it is
currently written because of numerous concerns.
The new definitions of dental assistant and dental hygienist are as follows:
• “Certified dental assistant”, a dental assistant who is certified by the Dental
Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) as a Certified Dental Assistant;
• “Expanded function dental assistant”, a certified dental assistant recognized
by the board who has completed a continuing education program approved
by the board in an ADA accredited institution that requires both didactic and
clinical training in preventive and restorative care, oral health education,
teaching and communication skills;
• “Registered dental assistant”, a dental assistant recognized by the board who
has successfully completed both a radiation health and safety course and an
infection control course, each as approved by the board, and who has either
been employed on a full-time basis as a dental assistant for at least two years
or satisfies such other employment requirements as the board may by
• “Dental assistant with advanced training”, a certified dental assistant, an
expanded function dental assistant or a registered dental assistant;
• “Expanded function dental hygienist”, a dental hygienist who has completed
a continuing education program in an American Dental Association
accredited institution approved by the board that includes advanced clinical
training in preventive, restorative, therapeutic skills and oral public health
The language in the bill is very vague and ambiguous regarding its definitions of the various categories of dental assis-
tant. There are neither defined duties for each category of dental assistant, nor defined criteria delineating how a dental assis-
tant would move from one category to another. In addition, there is no defined continuing education program for each catego-
ry of dental assistant as was the case when dental hygienists were permitted to administer local anesthesia. Further, there is con-
cern that functions delegated to registered dental hygienists, because of their education and training, would seemingly be
assigned to dental assistants who had not completed a formal educational program equivalent to the dental hygiene curriculum.
One example is the “scaling assistant.” As conveyed in a January 2007 meeting between MDS and MDHA representatives, a
“scaling assistant” (called an Expanded Function Dental Assistant, above) would be allowed to perform supragingival scaling
on Type 1 patients. The Board of Registration in Dentistry would be responsible for adopting rules and regulations to creden-
tial dental assistants as they move up the ladder from one category to another.
MDHA members have called their elected officials in recent weeks to voice their support for MDHA’s bills and oppo-
sition to this legislation. As a result of these calls, our voices have been heard at the State House. In particular, one State Senator
called our lobbyist to express concern for supporting legislation that dental hygienists oppose, and has requested to meet with
Additionally, a letter has been sent to the Massachusetts Dental Society suggesting that a meeting be scheduled to fur-
ther discuss the issues.
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Ever ything you ever wanted to know about the
Massachusetts Dental Hygienists' PAC (MDH-PAC)
but wer e afraid to ask
We’ve received many questions about the new Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Political Action Committee (MDH-PAC)
since it was introduced in the last issue of The Bulletin. PACs are new to hygienists in Massachusetts, but they have been used for
years by our national association and several neighboring state associations to help advance legislative issues.
Why was a PAC formed?
Due to the non-profit nature of MDHA, state laws prohibit our association from contributing to the political campaigns of candidates.
As we work to promote legislation which will advance our profession, hygienists must be able to endorse candidates who support the
profession of dental hygiene and the mission and goals of our association. The MDH-PAC endorses Massachusetts state candidates
who do just that. Once candidates are endorsed, MDH-PAC may make financial contributions to the political campaigns. MDH-PAC
plays an important role in educating candidates about the profession of dental hygiene and MDHA concerns.
What is MDH-PAC, anyway?
PAC or Political Action Committee is an organization that enables people to participate in the political process at the local, state and
federal levels by supporting issues and candidates for public office and by lobbying elected officials. Political action committees were
first formed in the 1940's. In Massachusetts there are about 200 registered PACs. In our state there is a $500 limit on an organization
or individual's campaign contribution.
PAC membership allows supporters and advocates of a particular organization or association and their "cause", through relatively small
contributions and organized election activities, to have a powerful voice in the political process.
PACs make campaign contributions and promote candidates, thus making candidates accountable to supporters and assuring that their
full-fledged allegiance to the organization or association is on the record.
Most importantly, PACs endorse candidates based on the candidate's commitment to an issue, in order to build power. They help give
the candidate political will to take a public position and initiate a discussion on important issues. Once the candidates recognize the
power of the PAC they often become spokespeople and champions for the organization or association and their "cause".
In what ways can someone support MDH-PAC?
To show your support you may:
• Work on political campaigns
• Make a financial contribution to MDH-PAC
• Become a “Legislative Liaison”. Legislative Liaisons advocate for the profession of dental hygiene and their colleagues by lend-
ing a face to our PAC on Beacon Hill. In order to become influential at the State House dental hygienists need to become actively
involved in the decision making process of the legislators. You can become a Legislative Liaison easily and quickly by contacting the
PAC at the email listed below
What do Legislative Liaisons do?
• They contact their legislator when a bill or issue of importance arises.
• They occasionally come to the State House or visit with their legislator in their district at his/her district office.
• They get updates from the MDH-PAC about additional actions they can take to advocate for dental hygiene.
Being a Liaison is a fun and very helpful way to get more involved in moving your profession forward!
Who can contribute to a PAC?
MDH-PAC must raise funds for the above-mentioned political contributions from individuals. Companies and corporations are not
allowed to contribute to a PAC. Thus, MDH-PAC must ask for the support of individual hygienists and other interested persons in the
form of direct contributions and fund-raising.
(continued on page 17)
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What is the mission of the MDH-PAC?
The mission is three-fold:
1. Ensure the public's direct access to a dental hygienist
2. Achieve autonomy of dental hygiene education,
licensure and practice
3. Serve as the recognized authority for the profession of
dental hygiene A multi-specialty group practice
offering a career that is unique.
All dental hygienists are welcome and encouraged to support the Come practice in one of our 22
profession through MDH-PAC. For more information on MDH-
PAC, to become a Legislative Liaison, or to make a financial con-
dental offices or travel and make
tribution, contact Carolyn Wehler, Treasurer at: friends in a variety of cites.
Gentle Dental offers you the
opportunity to provide quality and
continuity of care to your patients
• OSHA Compliant
• HIPAA Compliance
• BORID Compliance.
• Continuing Education
$5.00 each Classes / Reimbursement
Purchasing cell phone charms will assist in supporting the MDH-
PAC. These one-of-a-kind cell phone charms come in two styles
• Health Insurance
to fit a phone with an antenna and a phone without an antenna. To • 401K
purchase the cell phone charms contact Carolyn Wehler at • Paid Vacation
Carolyn@massdha.org or your Component Trustee.
• Flexible Schedule
Belmont J amaica Plain
Bever ly Malden L
WARNING… Newbury St.
Tremont S t.
YOUR LICENSE EXPIRES SOON! S. Boston
Brig ht on Wakef ield
Your license to practice dental hygiene Brookline Walth am
Burlington West Roxbury
expires on March 31, 2007. If you have not Cambridge Worcester
received your license renewal application contact
the BORID immediately at 617-973-0971.
Practicing dental hygiene without a current
Send resume or call Donna
license is a violation of the Massachusetts General
Laws and the ethical standards included in the
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one in attendance. Our Component has many materials available
COMPONENT for use if anyone is interested in volunteering their time for any
REPORTS Congratulations to Tara Halstead for her award as the
“North Shore Component Hygienist of the Year”. Tara has served
as our Treasurer for many years. She also has two small children
MIDDLESEX: and works part-time.
In October the Middlesex Component held a lecture on We look forward to seeing you at our spring courses
“Periodontal Health + Function + Esthetics = A Healthy, Happy which can be viewed at www.massdha.org. Please contact
Patient”, presented by Dr. Paul Epstein, DMD. In November, Dr. MaryEllen Widberg at 978-531-9332 if you have any questions or
Robert Angorn, DMD spoke on “Three Dimensional Diagnostic if you would like to register.
Imaging Utilizing Cone Beam Volume Scanners”. Both lectures
explored new technology and gave the audience practical and use-
ful information to use in their clinical practice. The participants WORCESTER:
also enjoyed the Sunday brunch and warm chat with new and old
friends. The Worcester component offers their constituents con-
We are looking forward to an exciting 2007, and it cer- tinuing education courses throughout the year. In the fall, Dr John
tainly began that way with our constituent member, Myrna Giordano spoke to a well-attended audience on Forensic
Olderman, RDH, receiving the MDS Dental Hygienist of the Year Dentistry. Coming up on February 28th Dr. Michael Gusar will
Award…Congratulations, Myrna! During Children’s Dental speak on NTI-TSS Appliances and on April 14th Barbara
Health Month many of our members went to different schools to Dawidjan RDH, MEd will be speaking on Digital and Panoramic
teach children the importance of oral health. Radiography. To register for our up-coming courses contact
On Sunday, March 11th, the Middlesex Component’s Ruthann Zamarro RDH at 341 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA
“Spring Lecture Series” begins with Winnie Furnari, RDH, BS, 01609.
FAADH, speaking on Forensic Dentistry. ADHA named Ms. Worcester is also gearing up to be well represented at
Furnari a recipient of the 2006 Pfizer/ADHA Excellence in Dental “Dental Hygiene Day at the State House” on Tuesday March 27,
Hygiene Award. This award honors dental hygienists who exhib- 2007 from 9:30- 3:00 PM; be sure to mark your calendar and
it excellence in dental hygiene through outstanding accomplish- hook up with cohorts to attend that day. The more representation
ments that impact the practice and future of the dental hygiene we have, the more volume our voice has to be heard. We are also
profession. asking that you contribute to the MDHA Political Action
On April 15th, Ann-Marie DePalma, RDH, BS, will be Committee who is our active voice with our political leaders. Any
offering us insights into improving our career with her presenta- contribution will be gratefully accepted as it helps to support the
tion, Taking Your Dental Hygiene Career To The Next Level. All outcome of legislative policy in Massachusetts affecting the
courses in our Spring Lecture Series will be held at the Hilton integrity of the dental hygiene profession in our state and the
Hotel in Woburn, Ma. We look forward to seeing you! direct delivery of preventive dental care by dental hygienists.
The North Shore Component had some wonderful, well
attended courses in the fall and is looking forward to our spring
The fall found us screening Head Start children through-
out the North Shore. A special thank you goes out to Christine
McLaughlin, Janet Lamkin and Judy Goldberg who assisted with
the screenings this year. The children and the dental hygienists
really enjoy these visits. Please consider volunteering next year
for this great opportunity.
For Children’s Dental Health Month many of the mem-
Top row: Mary Kellerman, Wendy St.Cyr, Lisa LaSpina,
bers visited libraries and classrooms presenting information on
Barbara Dawidjan, Joan Powell, Nancy Urell and
oral health prevention. During one school’s family reading night
one of the members educated the children through stories, hands
Front row: Myrna Olderman, Jean Connor and Lois Sobel
on activities and distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste to every-
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NORTH SHORE COMPONENT
CONTINUING EDUCATION Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Speaker: Donna Bates
Topic: Why Can't I Lose Weight?
BERKSHIRE COMPONENT Location: Beverly Hospital
Credits: 2 CEU's
Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2007 Registration: Members: $25.00
Speaker: Eric Holmgren, DMD, MD Non-members: $35.00
Topic: TMJ Dysfunction: From Nightguard to Botox
Time: Cocktails 6:00 pm; Dinner & Lecture 6:30 pm Date: Sunday, March 25, 2007
Location: Derek James Casual Dining, Lanesboro Speaker: Joan Cahill, RDH, MA
Credits: 2 CEU’s Topic: Open Wide Target Inside: An Intro to Local Anesthesia
Registration: CEUs w/dinner: Member $35.95 Time: 8:30am-12:00pm
CEUs w/dinner: Non-member/Staff $45.95 Location: Beverly Hospital with Breakfast
**Hands On -Limited To 30 Participants
CEUs only: Member $20.00 Credits: 6 CEU's
Non-member/Staff $ 30.00 Registration: Members: $60.00
For more information or to register, contact Lisa Gray at
(413) 664-2071 For more information or to register contact Tara Halstead at
SOUTH SHORE COMPONENT
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2007
Speaker: Winnie Furnari, RDH, BSDH, FAADH Date: Sunday, April 15, 2007
Topic: Forensic Dentistry: The Role of the Dental Hygienist Speaker: Wendy St. Cyr, RDH- Tom's of Maine
Time: 8:30am-12:00pm Topic: "Working with Nature to Make a Difference"
Credits: 3 CEU's Time: 8:30am-12:00pm
Registration: Members: $45.00 Credits: 3CEUs
Non-members: $66.00 Registration: Members: $30.00
Date: Sunday, April 15, 2007 **Registration Deadline is April 12th
Speaker: Ann Marie DePalma, RDH, BS
Topic: Taking Your Dental Hygiene Career to the Next Level For more information or to register contact Joan Powell at
Time: 8:30am-12:00pm JCPowell1@comcast.net
Credits: 3 CEU's
Registration: Members : $45.00 WORCESTER COMPONENT
Date: April 14, 2007
For more information or to register contact Mary Kellerman at Speaker: Barbara Dawidjan, RDH, MEd
978-667-3451 Topic: Digital and Panoramic Radiography: Technique and
ATTENTION ADVERTISERS... Credits: 3 CEUs
Location: Hoagland-Pincus Conference Center, Shrewsbury
To advertise in next issue of The Bulletin
contact: Lois Sobel, MDHA Business Manager For more information or to register, contact Ruthann Zamarro,
at 508-835-4658 or email@example.com RDH at RZAMARRO@yahoo.com or Jane Crocker at 978-939-
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