Independent Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygienst CleaningDental Hygiene changes in the 1980's

In the early 1980's a group of dental hygienist were volunteering their time and skills at assisted living facilities.  These women were later told that a few of their bosses were sending bills and getting paid for their volunteer work.  So five of these dental hygienist hired an attorney and a lobbyist to change the laws of the state of Colorado.  Unlike nurses, that govern themselves, a dental hygienist is governed by dentists.   If these dental hygienist were capable of giving dental hygiene care off site of the dental office, then it was obvious that they are just as capable of doing so in an independent setting.

Dental Office vs Medical Office

The Registered Nurse has become a valuable asset in the medical community.  Over the years the medical board has allowed for nurses to further learn skills that enable them to practice as Nurse Practioners.  In fact, many people I know see the NP more than their physician.  This allows for the doctor to see more clients with more severe illnesses or diseases.  The work load has been lightened, but the patients are still getting quality care.   In a traditional dental office, the dental hygienist can only work within her scope of practice and only in a dental office.   To better serve the community, especially with medical and dental cost rising, an independent dental office allows for more affordable preventive care. 

Independent Dental Hygiene

 In 1982 the laws of Colorado changed, allowing dental hygienist to practice outside of the traditional dental office.  At first the office had to be within the same building.  Today, an independent dental hygienist may practice in an office totally separate of the dental office.  We have been given the right to diagnose gum disease.  We can give anesthesia, enabling us to treat gum disease in a more affordable venue.  If more states would allow for independent practice, the dental hygienist would be able to reach more people and give the care that so many under served persons deserve.

Next time you need x-rays or a dental cleaning, give Dental Fitness & Spa a call   970-214-8420. We can help you and do it affordably 


Leave a Reply