Forward Thinking …
As we embark upon a new association year, it feels good to be looking ahead… to be forward thinking! While we are still battling a global pandemic, we are not in the same boat as last year. With vaccinations, a continued body of evidence-based practice on how to fight the COVID-19 virus, and improved knowledge on how to protect ourselves, offices, patients, and our communities at large, we are poised to shine as communicators and premiere health care providers! Lessons have been learned and new experiences have been embraced both personally and as a whole. We are truly in this together! Your SCDHA leadership team has been busy organizing opportunities for networking, learning, and advocacy in an ever-changing environment. We thank you for your patience and willingness to adapt as needed as we navigate through this time in our history.
Most of all, I encourage you to get involved. Whether its face-to face or virtually, strengthening relationships among dental hygienists is key to collaborative unity. As you might have noticed, dental hygiene practice is experiencing real change. Be part of the change—be part of the voice that’s shaping your future profession. Share your knowledge, expertise, and understanding and become an active participant – not a passive observer - of your future. It’s an important time to be involved, to stay up-to-date, and be part of the conversations taking place that are shaping the dental hygiene profession. Only collectively can WE continue to be an influence in oral/dental health policy, interdisciplinary power, and decision making – and we need YOU to help us progress!
Don’t miss out – we have many opportunities for you to get involved. Reach out to me, or any of the SCDHA leadership team, to see how you can get better involved in SCDHA and your profession.
Always forward thinking …
Jamillee Krob, DHEd, MPH, RDH
SCDHA 2021-22 PRESIDENT
The Board recently amended OAC rule 4715-8-01(B) to require dentists and dental hygienists to obtain a minimum of two (2) hours of continuing education per biennium pertaining to the prescribing of opioids for acute, subacute, and chronic pain. This requirement applies to the 2020-2021 and 2022-2023 biennium only.
You may be wondering why RDHs would be included in this mandate. Although RDHs are not licensed to actually prescribe, they are definitely responsible for assessing/updating patient medical history and clinical assessments, including recognizing acute, subacute, and chronic pain and patterns/potential for addiction. RDHs are included in patient treatment planning concerning pain management (e.g. local anesthetic). Ultimately, RDHs are directly involved with patient safety and education, so the importance of this educational requirement cannot be overstated.
Licensees should ensure they meet this continuing education requirement during each biennium. You may view OAC rule 4715-8-01(B) here:
If you would like more information regarding other continuing education requirements, please visit the “Education & Renewal” tab of our website here:
Unintentional drug overdose continues to be the leading cause of injury-related death in Ohio, ahead of motor vehicle traffic crashes – a trend which began in 2007.
According to a new report released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Ohio’s opioid epidemic has continued to evolve with stronger drugs driving an increase in unintentional overdose deaths. The ODH report shows a sharp rise in overdose deaths involving the opioid fentanyl, the emergence of more deadly fentanyl-related drugs like carfentanil, and indications that cocaine is now being used with fentanyl and other opiates. The report also contains some promising news – the fewest prescription opioid overdose deaths since 2009. This is promising overall, how does dentistry fit into this perspective?
"The latest numbers from the NIH show 1 in 8 high schoolers report using prescription opioid painkillers recreationally. The majority of these kids get their pills from friends and family, which is hardly surprising considering a 2016 study found nearly 100 million prescribed painkillers go unused after wisdom tooth extractions" (as reported in "Dentists: On the front line of the opioid epidemic").
Dental pain is real – and dental professionals are faced with the professional dilemma of striving for patients’ optimal oral health, while elevating their dental pain, on a daily basis. So it is even more imperative that dental health professionals become better educated themselves on how to educate their patients about early detection and early intervention of dental/oral disease as well as how to best manage pain. Education is key – for both the dental health processional -- and the patient.
Call to Action
So how can we, as dental hygienists, be proactive and help lead the call to action within our offices? We must position ourselves through self-education and gain awareness of the resources available to us and our patient populations. We should educate ourselves on reducing our patients’ exposure to opioids, on what is being done to limit the opioid supply, and how to help those already struggling with addiction. The American Dental Education Association (see full article below) suggested implementing this strategy as a start:
I have provided several resources below to help you get started.
Jamillee L. Krob, DHEd, MPH, RDH
“The Opioid Crisis” (Bilich, 2017) published in Dimensions of Dental Hygiene
"A Dental Response to the Opioid Epidemic” from the American Dental Education Association
Governor's Cabinet Opiate Action Team
Action Guide to Address Opioid Abuse http://mha.ohio.gov/Portals/0/assets/Initiatives/GCOAT/GCOAT-Health-Resource-Toolkit.pdf
From the OSDB
(orignially published in Ohio State Dental Board’s electronic newsletter, e-Bulletin)
ACUTE PAIN PRESCRIBING RULES
As one of the responses to the opioid epidemic facing Ohio, the Board adopted the following rules related to opioid prescribing on August 31, 2017 along with other healthcare related licensing boards. It is important for prescribers to not only be aware of these rules but also to understand their practical application. The Board’s Chair of the Dental Opioid Strategy Team, Dr. Kumar Subramanian, has worked closely with other clinicians on developing an appropriate strategy for addressing overprescribing.
The link below will take you to the Morphine Equivalent Dose calculator that is convenient to use. This calculator is housed in the OARRS portal.
Please be advised that the Ohio State Dental Board (OSDB) requires every dental hygienist to provide and maintain specific documentation in each office or facility in which they are employed. The documentation does NOT need to be filed with the OSDB, but must be maintained at each place of employment in their employee file. Please click here for the Permissible Practices Documentation for Dental Hygienists.
Members of SCDHA receive a newsletter twice a year as a direct benefit of membership. For more information about the SCDHA Newsletter or how to join the mailing list, contact the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org