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Workforce needs to be decided by states

Honolulu—The 2009 ADA House of Delegates adopted two resolutions concerning the composition of the dental team.

Resolution 31H-2009 amends the ADA Position on New Members of the Dental Team to reflect that workforce needs are determined at the state level. It also directs the ADA to serve as a resource to state dental associations as individual issues arise to advocate for best workforce solutions.

Res. 46H-2009 urges the ADA and its constituent societies to notify and collaborate with specialty dental organizations for comment and assistance when strategizing advocacy efforts related to legislative and regulatory proposals regarding dental team members.

Four other workforce resolutions were discussed at the 2009 House of Delegates and referred to the Council on Dental Practice for further study, potential update and report to the 2010 House of Delegates.

"We'll be looking very hard at ADA policy to determine how to best form ADA workforce policy for all of our members and to keep the dentist in charge of the dental team," said Dr. Christopher Larsen, chair of the Council on Dental Practice's Subcommittee on Workforce Issues. "While some states are adopting workforce models that cross traditional ADA definitions and boundaries, others don't want to do that and others are somewhere in the middle."

Res. 31H-2009 details the ADA's Position on New Dental Team Members as follows:

• determination of workforce needs are under the jurisdiction of the state and are determined at the state level, and any proposed new member of the dental team should be established at the state level with the advice and counsel of the relevant ADA constituent dental society, and this does not include any ongoing pilot initiatives that the ADA presently is involved in.

The ADA Position on New Dental Team Members also states: When state governments consider regulatory or legislative authorization of a new dental team member, the ADA may assist and serve as a resource at the request of a constituent dental society as they respond to workforce needs and advocate for the best workforce solution.

Also, the resolution says that any new member of the dental team shall be supervised by a dentist and that position shall be based upon a determination of need, sufficient education and training through a Commission on Dental Accreditation accredited program, and a scope of practice that ensures the protection of the public's oral health.

Res. 46H-2009—Collaboration with Specialty Organizations on Workforce—resolves:

• that the American Dental Association and its constituent societies be urged to notify and collaborate with appropriate specialty and other dental organizations for comment and assistance when strategizing advocacy efforts relating to legislative and regulatory proposals regarding dental team members.