Vermont Dental Hygienists’ Association (VDHA)

Vermont Dental Hygienists’ Association
PO Box 1482
Williston VT, 05495-1482

        ** 04/05/2015 **

Legislation to Create Dental Therapist in Vermont Passes Senate Floor

S.20, a bill that allows dental therapists to practice in Vermont, passed the
Senate floor on an 18 – 8 vote on April 3, 2015. This legislation, sponsored by Sen. Claire Ayer (D-Addison), Sen. Michael Sirotkin (D-Chittenden), and Sen. Jeanette White (D-Windham), will increase access to affordable, quality dental care for all Vermonters.

Sponsor and Chair of the Government Operations Committee, Senator Jeanette White, made
a compelling case for why dental therapists will help to increase access to dental care. White cited the quality of care they provide around the world and in the United States, our aging dental workforce, success of a similar program in Minnesota, and hearing from dentists who want to utilize the new provider.

Dental therapists will work within a narrowly defined scope of practice to provide important and needed routine and preventive care to underserved Vermonters. They will be trained at Vermont Technical College, which has more than a decade of experience providing high quality training for dental hygienists in Vermont, and will based solely on a licensed dental hygienist.

In addition to the votes on the Senate floor, the bill has received support from the
Shumlin Administration and a diverse statewide coalition, including children’s advocates,
non-profit clinics, dental providers, advocates for seniors, the past two state dental directors, and over 1,000 petition signers statewide.

The bill is now headed to the House, where it will be reviewed by the relevant committees before going to the floor for a vote.

The Executive Board of the Vermont Dental Hygienists’ Association thanks all of you who have supported this bill through phone calls, emails, and conversations with your legislators and the public. We still face stiff opposition from the Vermont Dental Society in order to pass this bill through the House, and will be calling on your vocal support again in the near future.

Thank you for supporting the professional organization that supports you!