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Clark County Children's Dental Health Day on Feb 4

The annual Children's Dental Health Day was organized by Clark County dentists and held at the Clark College Dental Hygiene clinic. The focus was on helping the children of low-income families. Dozens of Clark County Dental Society members participated, along with members of their teams. Faculty and students of the Dental Hygiene Department at Clark College and dental assisting students were also on hand. By day's end, 264 children had been examined, and 190 restorations had been placed. Preventive services included 442 sealants and over 200 fluoride varnish applications.



Enhance your PNDC experience with a free 2-Night stay at the Fairmont Hotel

“Like” the PNDC on Facebook and win big! PNDC attendees who like the PNDC on Facebook will be entered into a drawing to win a two night stay and dinner at our headquarter hotel, the Fairmont. The big winner will enjoy two complimentary nights during the conference at the Fairmont, including dinner at the Fairmont’s own The Georgian Restaurant. Enjoy a lavish stay at this premier Seattle hotel and French-inspired Northwest cuisine – on us!

And as if that giveaway wasn’t exciting enough: we will also be drawing for two free conference badges*! The drawing for all three items will take place on April 30, and winners will be notified via Facebook.

Visit to “like” PNDC on Facebook, and to receive the most up-to-date information on the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference. We also invite you to share us with your friends! For more information regarding the Fairmont Hotel, please visit

*Excludes Non-ADA Member Dentists.


All Mid-Level Practitioner Bills are Dead for 2012 


SB 6126 and HB 2226, the dental practitioner bills supported by the Kellogg Foundation and the Children’s Alliance, are now dead. HB 2226 died in the House Health Committee two weeks ago and SB 6126 will not pass out of the Senate Rules Committee. The WSDA appreciates our members' strong efforts and we're especially thankful for the leadership from the Board, committees, grassroots advocates and lobbyists. If you have received positive responses from your local legislators on WSDA’s position, please send them a thank you for supporting our concerns about patient safety and our continuing efforts to reduce barriers to oral health care. 

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Dental Practitioner Proposals Pose Considerable Health, Financial Risks

Pierce County Dental Society President Dr. Sammy Pak penned an editorial last week in the Tacoma News Tribune. The piece was in response to an editorial written in support of SB 6126 which would allow midlevel providers to perform surgical procedures without the on-site supervision of a dentist. Here's the piece:

Re: “Our state’s dental system is letting too many patients down” (Viewpoint, 1-29).

Anita Rodriguez recently argued on this page for a new category of mid-level dental provider authorized to practice independently from a dentist.

Rodriguez explained that many dentists oppose this proposal because of concerns for safety and quality of care. She also argued that such practitioners are much the same as the nurse-practitioners of 50 years ago – a profession once opposed by the establishment and now embraced by it.

I wanted to provide some clarity on many dentists’ views on this matter.

Rodriguez is writing in particular about two bills that are currently being considered by our Legislature. Both would create practitioners who, with an unspecified amount of training after high school, could perform irreversible procedures that include drilling and extractions without the on-site supervision of a dentist.

We have three concerns with these bills.

 • We are concerned about the seriousness of the procedures these mid-level practitioners could perform. The measures would allow dental therapists to do surgical procedures including pulpotomies (root canals on primary teeth), drilling for cavity preparation and extractions.

These procedures are irreversible and could be performed by an individual with a GED, an unspecific amount of training and no competency testing. There is no precedent for this mid-level practitioner anywhere else.

To Rodriguez’s point about nurse practitioners: Nurse practitioners cannot perform surgical procedures, and in our state they are required to receive a master’s or doctoral degree.

 • We are concerned about fracturing the dental home for patients. Under the structure of these bills, a patient with complications from a practitioner’s procedure would need to rush to a dentist to address the issue or wait for the dentist to come to him or her. Nearly every dentist can tell a recent story of a procedure that was more complicated than he or she expected.

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