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HB 709 - Dental health aide therapists

HB 709 - Dental health aide therapists

Phil Haunschild
March 20, 2018

Bill description: HB 709 would allow dental health-aide therapists to perform limited dental services, under the supervision of a licensed dentist, in tribal clinics.

Rating: +1

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market? 

Dental health-aide therapists (DHAT) are trained to provide a limited scope of dental work. They do not have the full training of a dentist, but they are able to provide general services for individuals who may not have immediate access to a dentist. Allowing DHATs to practice in communities in states such as Alaska and Washington has alleviated much of the dental shortage in these areas.

HB 709 would reduce the barrier to those looking to practice in the dental field by allowing them to practice limited dentistry without obtaining the full license. Obtaining a full dental license which takes roughly eight years of education to obtain. Some DHAT programs require only two years of education. Only individuals working in tribal health clinics would be eligible for certification as a DHAT.


Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market? 

HB 709 would reduce the state government’s intervention in the private operations of tribal dental clinics.


Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law? 

HB 709 specifically references the Commission on Dental Accreditation, a private organization. Only this commission would be able to accredit the courses and institutions from which a DHAT could receive certification.


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