Dental Therapists Authorized to Practice in Oregon

In 2021 House Bill 2528 amended the Oregon dental statutes to allow dental therapists to be licensed & practice in Oregon. A dental therapist is a midlevel dental care provider who works with a dentist in the way that a physician assistant works with a physician. House Bill 2528 directs the Oregon Board of Dentistry to issue dental therapist licenses to qualified applicants. The bill outlines educational requirements, qualifications for licensure, scope of practice, and supervision logistics for dental therapists.

House Bill 2528 was introduced on behalf of the Oregon Dental Access Campaign which included a broad coalition of health care organizations, health care providers, educators, consumers, tribes and other advocacy groups. The ODHA was a member of this coalition, & provided testimony in support of this bill.

House Bill 2528 was based on positive results from Dental Pilot Project #100. During this project tribal members were sent to Alaska to complete the Dental Health Aid Therapist (DHAT) program. Then they returned to their tribal communities in Oregon to provide dental therapy services working with supervising dentists. This project was sponsored by the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB).

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