Sen. Unterman Hosts Press Conference to Announce Dental Hygienist Legislation

ATLANTA (December 20, 2016) | Sen. Renee Unterman (R– Buford), along with Sen. Valencia Seay (D – Riverdale) and Rep. Sharon Cooper (R – Marietta), hosted a press conference to discuss the filing of dental hygienist legislation.

“It is an honor to have everyone here today to announce bi-partisan legislation that will take care of the most vulnerable citizens in our state,” said Sen. Unterman. “This is simple, commonsense legislation that will give a basic necessity like oral care to those who do not have access to it. We must think about those that have been left behind and ensure they are not forgotten.”

“As Georgians, we must do better to help those who are under-served and also those who are un-served,” said Sen. Seay. “We must start the conversation and ensure that Georgia moves forward along with the 47 other states who allow dental hygienist to provide care to those who otherwise would not receive it.”

The dental hygienist legislation was filed today. It addresses licensing of dental hygienist and what they must do to qualify to provide cleaning and fluoride treatment in safety net locations and certain settings. This legislation further defines safety net locations and settings to include dental offices when the dentist is gone, nursing homes, hospice centers and others specifically listed. With this legislation, a dentist is limited to assigning four dental hygienists to perform these duties under their supervision. It is also noted that before a patient can start regularly seeing a dental hygienist for care, they must see a dentist at least once a year before that.