Dental Therapist Bill Introduced

Legislation involving dental therapists in general dental offices has been introduced into the State House. We will be sending information to the FSOMS membership regarding this important issue. Click on the following link for the first series of articles:

From the FDA: Regarding Dental Therapists

Legislation has recently been filed in Florida to create dental therapists.
The Florida Dental Association (FDA) opposes this legislation.

This week, Rep. Danny Perez (R-Miami) filed House Bill 683 to add a new licensed dental
provider to Florida’s dental workforce. For a copy of the legislation, click here.

This legislation would authorize dental therapists to perform irreversible procedures under the general supervision of a dentist in public health access settings. The most vulnerable citizens of Florida would be subject to treatment from an individual lesser trained than a dentist, should this legislation pass the Legislature.

The FDA has been meeting with legislators over the past months and providing information on
the education and training of Florida licensed dentists. “The Root of…Campaign” information
listed here has been shared with all House and Senate members. It is important that legislators
understand the significance of having an adequately trained dentist providing dental care. Dentists
have the comprehensive knowledge and experience to identify and address other issues that may
arise during care.

Lowering the standard of care in Florida is not the way to address access to dental care.

To help improve oral health and increase access to dental care in underserved areas of Florida,
the FDA has filed House Bill 369 and Senate Bill 764 to create the dental student loan
repayment program. Click here to see the legislation on House Bill 369 and click here to see
Senate Bill 764. This legislation would encourage dentists to work in rural and underserved
areas as full-time Medicaid providers. They would be eligible to receive no less than $50,000
a year in financial assistance, up to five years maximum. This legislation allows for dentists,
who are educated and trained to handle comprehensive dental care, to provide quality care
to our most vulnerable citizens.

CALL TO ACTION

Your help is needed today. Contact your legislators and let them know that the FDA supports
maintaining a high standard of dental care for all Floridians, regardless of where they live or
where they may receive services. Urge them to SUPPORT House Bill 369and Senate Bill 764.
Additionally, urge your legislators to OPPOSE House Bill 683 by Rep. Perez — legislation
creating dental therapists — as this is not the answer to address access to dental care.
Click here to access the FDA’s Legislative Action Center (you must be logged in).
To contact Rep. Perez directly, you can email him at daniel.perez@myfloridahouse.gov.

For additional information or questions, contact Joe Anne Hart, Chief Legislative Officer, at jahart@floridadental.org or 850.224.1089.

Make your voice heard!

Dr. Mike Eggnatz
FDA President

Download Additional Resources