Massachusetts and North Dakota introduce midlevel legislation
What's the issue?
On Jan. 12, State Sen. Michael Moore (D-Mass.) introduced SD 168. The bill would allow a new type of midlevel provider called the public health dental practitioner to practice in the state.
Public health dental practitioners would be able to practice in federally qualified health centers and be able to perform the following functions:
- Prepare and place direct restorations
- Place single-tooth temporary crowns
- Perform indirect and direct pulp capping on permanent teeth and indirect pulp capping on primary teeth
On Jan. 18, State Rep. Bill Devlin (R-N.D.) introduced HB1256, a bill allowing dental therapists to practice in the state. Under the supervision of a dentist, dental therapists would be able to provide certain preventive care services, like filling cavities.
This is the second time that a midlevel provider bill has been proposed in the state. In 2015, the North Dakota legislature voted down a bill in favor of allowing midlevel providers to practice there.
Why is this important?
Several states are introducing midlevel legislation as a measure to address barriers to dental care issues. It is important to review each bill carefully and speak with key stakeholders to determine how the proposed legislation could affect the patients you serve.