Posted: February 15th, 2022

The Changes in Scope of Practice






Changes in Scope of Practice



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Changes in Scope of Practice

            Changes in scope of practice for all the healthcare providers throughout the nation is essential because it helps the healthcare providers to meet the patients’ needs and minimize challenges of access to healthcare. This paper intends to discuss changes in scope of practice of the dental hygienist in various parts of the country such as Alaska, California and Minnesota. 


Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice

            The registered dental hygienists in alternative practice are perceived to be the individuals licensed to offer dental hygiene care the people with limited access to healthcare in the traditional dental office 

Educational Requirements

            To be a qualified dental hygienist in alternative practice in California, the dental hygienists are required to attain several key educational requirements that include, 

  • Be a holder of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • Have a minimum of at least 2000 hours of clinical hygiene practice in California during the immediately preceding 36 months (Coppola et al., 2017). 
  • Complete a 150 hours education program approved and recommended by the California board (Coppola et al., 2017). 
  • Pass a written ethics and law exam prescribed by the California board.


Allowable Duties

            Some of the key allowable duties of a registered dental hygienist in alternative practice include, 

  • Conducting dental health assessment
  • Conducting Oral care assessment
  • Conducting periodontal health assessment
  • Performing Periodontal therapy
  • Consulting with physician and dentist on issues pertaining to the patient’s dental and general health.

Target Population

            The main target population of the registered dental hygienists in alternative practice are the people who do not have access to care, for instance, the people living in remote locations or slums. 

Where They Are Allowed To Practice

            The registered dental hygienists in alternative practice are allowed to practice in several areas that include

  • Residential care facilities
  • Private homes
  • Schools
  • Care homes


Reimbursements for Services Rendered By Registered Dental Hygienist

            The reimbursements for the registered dental hygienist in alternative practice tend to vary depending on the amount of work or services rendered; however, the annual average pay for registered dental hygienist in alternative practice in California State is approximately $81,055, which is equivalent to approximately $38.97 an hour (Coppola et al., 2017).


            Dental hygienists have several key roles to play in the healthcare platform, however in order to meet or fulfill this roles or needs their scopes of practice must be separated and specified. This will help to ensure that there is no gap existing in oral healthcare



Dental Health Aide Therapist

            Dental health aide therapists are considered to be middle-level dental care providers who work in a dentist-led team under supervision to offer or provide restorative and preventive services within a specified scope of practice. 

Educational Requirements

            To be a qualified Dental Health Aide Therapist in Alaska, one needs to fulfill several key educational requirements that include, 

  • Complete the Alaska dental therapy educational program
  • Attain three months of preceptorship under the supervision of a dentist
  • Get certification from the Alaska community health aide program certification board.

Allowable Duties

            The main dustiest of a Dental Health Aide Therapist include

  • Performing basic restorations
  • Undertaking uncomplicated extractions
  • Provision of community-based and patient preventive dental services
  • Provision of basic hygiene services to dental patients.

Target Population

            The target population of the Dental Health Aide Therapists are the individuals who require basic dental care services either within the healthcare facilities or within the community. For instance, students.

The Areas That They Are Required To Practice

            Dental Health Aide Therapist are usually allowed to practice in several areas that include, 

  • Schools
  • Care homes 
  • Residential care facilities

Reimbursements for Services Rendered By Dental Health Aide Therapist

            In most cases, the Dental Health Aide Therapist reimbursements tend to vary depending on the amount of work or services rendered; however, the annual average pay for Dental Health Aide therapists in Alaska is approximately $63,665, which is equivalent to approximately $30.61 an hour (Estai et al., 2016). 

Advanced Dental Therapist

            Advanced Dental therapists are considered to be licensed Intraprofessional dental care providers who perform critical roles in a dental care team. In most cases, the Advanced Dental Therapists are trained in applied and theoretical skills to provide treatment and prevent emergency room visits for patients with dental-related problems.

Education Requirements

            To be a qualified advanced dental therapist in Minnesota, one must meet several education requirements, which include, 

  • Completion of a master’s degree in advanced dental therapy.
  • Completion of at least 2000 hours of advanced dental therapy scope practice. Completion of the case-based exam administered by the Minnesota Board of dentistry (Self & Brickle, 2017).
  • Submission of the radiographic records of the dental therapy services offered to show the candidate’s capability to apply clinical judgment and clinical thinking.
  • Attend a personal interview with the Minnesota state board of dentistry licensure.

Allowable Duties

            Some of the allowable duties of the advanced dental therapist include

  • Conducting oral evaluations and assessments
  • Providing the treatment plan formulations
  • Provision of non-surgical extractions of the diseased teeth.

Target Population

            The advanced dental therapist mainly targets people who live in areas that serve the uninsured, underserved patients, low-income populations, or areas with a shortage of dental health care. 

Areas That They Are Allowed To Practice

            The advanced dental therapists are allowed to serve or practice in several key areas that include,

  • Schools
  • Care homes 
  • Residential care facilities
  • Local health facilities

Reimbursements for Services Rendered By Advanced Dental Therapist

            In most cases, the reimbursements for the advanced Dental Therapist tend to vary depending on the amount of work or services rendered; however, the annual average pay for an advanced Dental Therapist in Minnesota is approximately $67,220, which is equivalent to approximately $32.32an hour (Self & Brickle, 2017). 



Coppola, S. L., Furgeson, D., Fontana, M., Kinney, J. S., & Gwozdek, A. E. (2017). Factors associated with the economic sustainability of the registered dental hygienist in alternative practice. American Dental Hygienists’ Association91(5), 15-25. https://jdh.adha.org/content/91/5/15.short

Estai, M., Kruger, E., Tennant, M., Bunt, S., & Kanagasingam, Y. (2016). Challenges in the uptake of telemedicine in dentistry. Rural and remote health16(4), 1-5. https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/INFORMIT.206881898506247

Self, K., & Brickle, C. (2017). Dental therapy education in Minnesota. American journal of public health107(S1), S77-S80.https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303751







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