Colorado has had dental hygiene as a profession since almost the very beginning of the field of dental hygiene. We have a progressive dental hygiene scope of practice. This broad scope of practice allows many hygienists to impact the lives of thousands of Coloradans who otherwise would not be obtaining oral health care. This is one way to improve oral health equity.
Take a look at a brief history of this practice in our state. (Click here to see the full timeline.)
The Colorado scope of practice makes us a leader in the country. DDCOF’s Colorado Medical-Dental Integration project (CO MDI) project exists because of the scope of practice for hygienists in Colorado. CO MDI integrates dental hygienists into medical settings and hygienists are able to practice at the top of their scope and connect patients to a welcoming dentist for restorative services and a dental home.
Over 70,000 patient encounters have occurred between January 2015 and March 2019 that otherwise would not have occurred. These patients were going for a medical visit and ended up getting dental services as well. CO MDI helps break down oral health equity barriers for underserved people that experience challenges accessing traditional dental care. They are 71% Medicaid and 28% uninsured.
Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation addresses oral health inequities and supports community-based solutions that tackle them so that we can elevate the well-being of ALL Coloradans. Learn more about our funding efforts and CO MDI on our website.