The Oral Health Workforce Research Center studies dental hygienist (DH) scope of practice and finds great variability in what DHs in different states are allowed to do. Researchers at the Center built a scope of practice scale for DHs, the Dental Hygiene Professional Practice Index (DHPPI) and used it to score state-specific DH scope of practice in 2014. Using 2014 DHPPI scores, researchers found that more autonomous DH scope of practice had a positive and statistically significant association with population oral health. Since broader DH scope of practice is correlated with better oral health outcomes, researchers developed an infographic that allows state-to-state comparisons of DH scope of practice. This presentation highlights the research that supported the development of the DH scope of practice infographic.
The Changing Landscape in Oral Health: An Introduction to Workforce Strategies Designed to Expand Access to Care
This webinar will provide participants an introductory overview of the oral health workforce in America and highlight key themes emerging from the OHWRC’s work, including: strategies that facilitate oral health integration with primary care, particularly among safety net providers in clinics as well as community based settings; oral health service innovation, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary team based approaches to providing oral health services, including the use of dental therapists, advanced practice dental hygienists and community health coordinators.
There is a growing body of evidence documenting the relationship between physical and oral health, increasing interest in expanding access to basic oral health services, particularly for underserved populations. This webinar will discuss key access barriers in oral health and describe findings from research studies conducted by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center that highlight innovative oral health service delivery models and workforce strategies aimed at increasing access to oral health services.