Colorado and Minnesota join Dentist and Dental Hygienist Com

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Colorado and Minnesota join Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact

Nine US states have joined the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact, which makes it easier and faster for dentists and dental hygienists to gain work authorisation in participating states. (Image: Nick_Picnic/Shuttrestock)

Wed. 29 May 2024


DENVER, US: Colorado and Minnesota have become the eighth and ninth states to join the Dentist and Dental Hygienist (DDH) Compact. This occupational licence portability pact was enacted in April when Maine became its seventh member, and the American Dental Association (ADA) has commended its growing ranks as a “win” for the dental profession.

The DDH Compact aims to support workforce deployment by making it easier and faster for dentists and dental hygienists to gain work authorisation in participating states. It will be governed by a commission of representatives from member states, and among the commission’s roles will be assuring the quality and safety of services provided by participating dental professionals.

The ADA has been a key supporter of the compact, and the association’s president-elect, Dr Brett H. Kessler, who is based in Denver, said in a press release that the addition of Colorado and Minnesota to the agreement is a “win for our profession that demonstrates what’s possible when we work with a shared focus”. He added: “Together—as dentists, hygienists, educators and organised dentistry—we’ve made progress on a compact that empowers dental professionals to experience ease and freedom as they build their lives and careers.”

Colorado Dental Association President Dr Leah Schulz commented that the state’s dental and dental hygienist associations had worked together to support the legislation. She said: “Our respective associations work tirelessly to promote creative solutions to workforce development. By reducing barriers to licensure portability, Colorado dentists and dental hygienists will now enjoy greater mobility and less burden of maintaining multiple licences in several states.”

DDH Compact legislation has now been enacted in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, and legislation is pending in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The compact could streamline oral care services in state boundary areas, and interstate compacts are supported by the US Department of Defense, owing to their easing of licensure pressures for military spouses. Of the nine existing members, only Maine and Washington do not share a border with another DDH Compact state.

Implementation of the compact is expected to take 18–24 months. Further information is available on the DDH Compact website.

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