At the CDA Annual Meeting, dentists heavily discussed and debated an increased scope of practice for dental assistants in reaction to the workforce shortage. In fact, a CDA task force has been studying the merits and risks of this idea for the past year. Resolution 32-23-HS was created by the CDA House of Delegates in June, which directs the CDA to submit a Sunrise Review application to DORA addressing the expansion of dental assistants’ scope of care. The CDA House is comprised of volunteer dentists from around the state and provides directives on the CDA’s future endeavors and actions. The application is due at the end of the year, and once submitted, DORA will consider whether authorizing dental assistants to perform some expanded functions like scaling would require licensing, registration or certification from the state of Colorado. Dental assistants are not currently regulated by the state. The Sunrise Review would also likely consider any education or supervision requirements for this change. The CDA Dental Assistant Scope of Care Task Force met this week to begin work on this application and will be meeting with our Government Relations Council in August.
The actions made by the CDA House of Delegates do not authorize dental offices to allow dental assistants to practice outside of their limited scope at this time. Rather it directs the CDA to engage DORA to consider this provider scope concept.
To read this resolution and a summary of all the resolutions from this year’s House, click here.