In April, at the urging of the Office of Dental Health (ODH), the Missouri Dental Board (MDB) approved the concept of developing the Expanded Functions Oral Preventive Assistant (OPA) pilot program, enabling the ODH and the Missouri Dental Association to begin developing the curriculum for the program to be designed to allow an OPA, equivalent to a scaling assistant
who would scale teeth above the gumline and probe, with little education, to work on Missourians.
At the July 2023 Missouri Dental Board meeting, the board did move forward with the rule change to allow a pilot program to create the Oral Preventive Assistant to scale teeth above the
gumline and probe. At the October meeting, the board also approved the curriculum that this new OPA would have to take.
Note that MDHA was not allowed to see the curriculum, as it was discussed in “closed session” due to it being “proprietary” information since the Missouri Dental Association created the
program. Karen Davis, the MDHA President, wrote the board citing the Freedom of Information Act to request the information but was told “no” because the information was “proprietary”
even though the content of the material was related to the rulemaking decision.
We need your help!
Here is how.
1. Have your dentist(s) write letters to the Governor's office opposing the Oral Preventive Assistant "OPA" Pilot Program.
2. Letters to the Missouri Dental Board (MDB) will need to be sent once the proposed rule on local anesthesia under general supervision is published in the Missouri Register.
*There will be a 30-day period in the Missouri Register to leave comments saying what you like or dislike about this proposed rule.
**We will update this posting whenever the public commenting is open.
3. Advocate and lobby for dental hygiene on MDHA’s Lobby Day in Jefferson City February 14th.
*Click the button below to read what MDHA is supporting in 2024.
4. Donate to the Missouri Dental Hygienists’ Political Action Committee
(MO-HyPAC) so hygienists can later support Missouri legislators who support our profession.