Governor signs ISDS Workforce Legislation, which will take effect on January 1, 2023.
An Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS) initiative to address workforce shortages in the dental office was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on Friday, May 27, 2022. The law will take effect on January 1, 2023. Thank you to our members for playing a critical role in passing this very important piece of legislation.
ISDS heard from many members about the growing workforce shortage. The COVID-19 pandemic compounded an already growing workforce shortage, particularly in the state's urban and rural areas. To address this issue, ISDS introduced legislation that would expand the existing ability of dental assistants to perform limited coronal scaling. Throughout the legislative session, ISDS worked to address the concerns of the bill's sponsors. The legislation is now law in Illinois.
The law addresses two major items:
- Addresses the growing workforce shortage: Expands existing provisions on dental assistants so that they may perform coronal scaling above the gum line on children and adolescents 17 years of age or younger (currently the age of 12) and who qualify for one of the following provisions: on Medicaid, uninsured, or whose family household income is not higher than 300% of the federal poverty level (currently 200%). For a household of four, that income level would be approximately $83,000 annually. The legislation also increases the training hours, from 16 hours to 32 hours needed, for dental assistants to provide this limited service.
- Increases access to nursing home residents: The legislation allows a licensed dentist to use teledentistry to examine a patient in a long-term care (LTC) facility. This change was made to allow a dental hygienist to provide limited dental care to a patient in that facility within 45 days of the examination if the patient's oral condition warrants care. Additionally, the legislation will allow Public Health Dental Hygienists to work in nursing homes before an oral examination as long as they have a collaborative agreement with a dentist that spells out the limits of that care.