MassHealth now reimburses certain categories of health providers for applying fluoride varnish, a topical fluoride, on the teeth of children with a moderate to high-risk for tooth decay. Physicians and qualified personnel, including nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physician assistants, and medical assistants seeking to apply fluoride varnish to MassHealth-enrolled children under the age of 21 are required to complete a MassHealth-approved training program.
A public health dental hygienist is a practicing registered dental hygienist who may perform authorized dental hygiene procedures in a public health setting without the supervision or direction of a dentist. A public health dental hygienist must have at least 3 years of full-time clinical experience and must have received appropriate training as determined by the Board of Registration in Dentistry (see 234 CMR 5.07(2)). Public health dental hygienists must have a collaborative agreement with a licensed dentist and may work in a variety of public health settings determined by the Department of Public Health.
This new category of dental professional will improve direct access to preventive dental care for those residents of the state at highest risk for dental disease such as MassHealth recipients, low-income residents, children, seniors and the developmentally disabled, therefore reducing disparities.
The loan repayment programs offered in Massachusetts were established to assist dentists and dental hygienists in providing services to our most vulnerable residents. This is accomplished by helping those who wish to practice in these areas repay loans accrued during their professional education.
Health Professions Data Series
- The Massachusetts Health Professions Data Series: Dental Hygienists
- The Massachusetts Health Professions Data Series: Dentists file size 1MB
Reports containing information and surveys on the oral health status of the residents of the Commonwealth.