Illinois Dental HYGIENISTS' Association

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HB 2676 Signed by Governor Pritzker: Public Health Dental Hygienist Update 

July 13, 2019

Below are the revisions to the Illinois Dental Practice Act regarding the Public Health Dental Hygienist Definition and Training.

Definition of Public Health Dental Hygienist 

“Public health dental hygienist” means a hygienist who holds a valid license to practice in the State has 2 years of full-time clinical experience or an equivalent of 4,000 hours of clinical experience and has completed at least 42 clock hours of additional structured courses in dental education in advanced areas specific to public health dentistry.

“Public health setting” means a federally qualified health center; a federal. State, or local public health facility; Head Start; a special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) facility; or a certified school-based health center of school-based oral health program.

“Public health supervision” means the supervision of a public health dental hygienist by a licensed dentist who has a written public health supervision agreement with that public health dental hygienist while working in a n approved facility or program that allows the public health dental hygienist to treat patients, without a dentist first examining the patient and being present in the facility during treatment, (1) who are eligible for Medicaid or (2) who are uninsured and whose household income is not greater than 200% of the federal poverty level.

Sec. 13.5. Training programs for public health dental hygienists.

  • (a)   With respect to the requirement that a public health dental hygienist have additional structured courses in dental education in advanced areas specific to public health dentistry, education in advanced areas specific to public health dentistry must include emergency procedures for medically compromised patients (5 hours), pharmacology (5 hours), medical recordkeeping procedures (4 hours), geriatric dentistry (5 hours), pediatric dentistry (5 hours), and pathology (5 hours) provided by:
  • (1)   An educational institution accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation, such as a dental school or dental hygiene program; or
  • (2)   A statewide dental association or dental hygiene association, approved by the Department to provide continuing education, that has developed and conducted training programs for expanded functions for dental assistants and hygienists.
  • (b)    Training programs for a public health dental hygienist must:
  • (1)   Include a minimum 29 hours of didactic study as described in subsection (a), which may be taken in an online structured format and in compliance with the continued learning education requirements of 68 Illinois Administrative Code 1220.440;
  • (2)   Require completing of 5 hours of didactic courses in the following topic areas:  special needs dentistry, teledentistry, nutritional needs of geriatric and low income patients, communication techniques with non-English speaking patients, cultural competency, and professional ethics;
  • (3)    Require completion of an 8 hour in-person classroom review that includes a comprehension exam on the subjects required in subsection (a) and submit certification of successful completion to the supervising dentist; and
  • (4)   Issue a certificate of completion of the training program requirement, which must be kept on file at the supervising dentist’s office and with the public health dental hygienist which will be made available to the Department upon request.
  • Sec. 13.10. Public health dental hygienist supervision agreement.  After completion of the requirements of Section 13.5, a public health dental hygienist may operate in a public health setting that meets the requirements of Section 18.1 with a dentist who is working in or has contracted with a local or State government agency or institution or who is providing services as part of a certified school-based program or school-based oral health program.

Section 99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect upon becoming law.

Update HB 345 - Tobacco 21


On Sunday April 7, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation, that raises the legal age for purchasing cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.

House Bill 345 takes effect July 1, 2019. It aims to reduce tobacco use among teens and young adults by preventing them from starting.

The Illinois Dental Hygienists’ Association was a proud supporter of House Bill 345, also known as Tobacco 21.

Public Health Dental Hygienist Update


House Bill 2676 (HB2676) passed out of the House of Representatives today with 115-0 votes. HB2676 is now off to the Senate. We are halfway there!!

If you’re interested in following the progress of bill – HB2676 – see link below. Remember to click on “Full Text” (upper left corner) as the synopsis is not as detailed. There are many steps before it is passed. We’ll keep you updated as the process proceeds.…

For additional information please don’t hesitate to contact IDHA at 800-550-4342, or message through Facebook messenger.


Dear Illinois Dental Hygienists, April 2, 2019

Many of you may wonder: what ever happened with the Public Health Dental Hygienist (PHDH) certification.   As some of you know, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation delayed the rules for the training criteria for the PHDH.   In February 2019, the Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS) submitted a bill – HB2676.   This bill contained the requirements for the training and education for public health dental hygienists.  The Illinois Dental Hygienists’ Association opposed some of the requirements ISDS proposed.  Over the last few weeks, our two associations collaborated and compromised, which led to the current language in HB2676. 

Absolutely, there are aspects of the bill with which both ISDS and IDHA were not in agreement. Therefore, our position of the bill is neutral, because our mission at IDHA, first and foremost, is to “improve the public’s total health.”  By not opposing this bill, we have an opportunity to provide great care to so many underserved individuals in Illinois.

If you’re interested in following the progress of bill – HB2676 – here is a link.  Remember to click on “Full Text” (upper left corner) as the synopsis is not as detailed.   This bill is on the second reading in the House.  There are many steps before it is passed.  We’ll keep you updated as the process proceeds.

For additional information please don’t hesitate to contact IDHA at 800-550-4342 or

Passage of HB5948 and Amendments

Dear IDHA Members, RDH Potential IDHA Members, Student DH, and HB5948 Supporters,

IDHA was successful in passing HB5948 and Amendments last Friday in the Senate 53 yes and NO opposition. On Tuesday, May 31st, HB5948 the House of Representatives passed it, 117 yes to -0- opposition!  We are VERY excited this trailer bill to HB500 PASSED to improve and enhance the details and reduce the additional educational requirements for the Public Health Dental Hygienist (PHDH) category in IL and to clarify and tighten the language for dental assistants providing supragingival scaling.   This will become law once it is signed by the Governor.  The most significant aspect of HB500 and HB5948 is allowing the PHDH to see patients, who are Medicaid eligible or uninsured and do not exceed 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, WITHOUT FIRST HAVING A PRIOR EXAM BY A DENTIST.  The PHDH requirements include having a collaborative written agreement with a dentist who is registered as a Medicaid provider or is engaged, contracted or employed in a public  health facility or those other settings as described in the HB500.  The passing of HB5948 on Tuesday literally came down to only a few hours being left for it to pass while the House was still in sessioin on its last scheduled day, or we would have needed to begin the process all over again.  Our bill sponsor, Representative Michael Zalewski was very instrumental in facilitating the negotiation process with Senator Haine and the Illinois State Dental Society, and closely following the bill through the legislative process.  We also greatly appreciate our two lobbyists, Jan Starr and John Cusick, who worked side-by-side with us every step along the way.  We appreciate the efforts of our lobbyists who represent our concerns to the many legislators around the state, and continue to monitor all legislation that may impact or affect the profession of dental hygiene.  Their role is an extremely important one to IDHA year round even when not lobbying a bill on our behalf.

This initiative took much time, effort, and the help of many RDH and friends of HB5948 to get it passed.  It is the culmination of many years of effort.  So, as we celebrate this HUGE legislative success, we need each of you to take the time to call your legislators in both the House and in the Senate and say, THANK YOU for VOTING YES AND PASSING HB5948!!!  Without their vote of ‘yes’  the direct access to services provided by a PHDH would not be possible.

Please call you legislators in the House and in the Senate.   This 5 year pilot (created by HB500) will help demonstrate to law makers that Registered Dental Hygienists are a major part of the solution to increasing the direct access to oral health care services in Illinois!  We know many of you have questions as to how you can get out there and begin putting this new law into practice.  Please watch our website over the next few weeks as we begin posting information.  In the meantime, please go to and thoroughly read HB500 and HB5948 for the specifics and the requirements needed for a RDH to be called a Public Health Dental Hygienist (PHDH), to find out all of the settings in which a PHDH may practice, and watch the website for educaational courses as we see them become available.

Again, IDHA sincerely appreciates every phone call made, e-mail sent, and legislator visited to help make the passage of HB5948 be a success!  Please call your legislators at your earliest availability to say thank you.


Kimberly K. Benkert, RDH, BSDH, MPH, COM, FAADH

IDHA Legislation Chair

IDHA Past President

ADHA Past President

IDHA celebrates passage of HB500

The Illinois Dental Hygiene Association (IDHA) celebrates the passage of HB500 legislation allowing direct access to oral healthcare services provided by a registered dental hygienist in public health settings!  On December 2, 2015, the Illinois House of Representatives, concurred by 105-to-4 votes with a pair of Senate amendments (2 and 5) to House Bill 500. The bill is the result of many long negotiations between IDHA, the Illinois State Dental Society, the Illinois Public Health Association and the PEW Charitable Trust Foundation.

Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH), after meeting requirements outlined in the statute, will be able to provide oral health and preventive services, in select public health settings, without the requirement of an exam first by a dentist.  With a written collaborative agreement, the RDH will refer to the collaborating dentist for a full dental exam. This legislation creates a Public Health Dental Hygienist position in Illinois and increases the opportunity for the public to go directly to the hygienist for services.   Settings include public health department clinics, Community Health Centers and FQHC’s, school-based programs, and other public health settings.

IDHA believes passing this legislative measure will significantly increase direct access to individuals who are currently not receiving routine oral healthcare services.  Medicaid recipients and individuals who are uninsured and 200% below the federal poverty level will be the benefactors of this care.  IDHA is proud and excited to have achieved direct access to oral healthcare services provided by an RDH who has graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program, and is licensed through a similar national, regional and state testing process that all dentists complete.

In another portion of the legislation that passed, dental assistants with additional training will be allowed, under the direct supervision of a dentist, to do scaling of teeth only above the gumline, on healthy children, ages 12 and under who are covered by Medicaid or 200% below the federal poverty level.  IDHA contested and challenged strongly for the elimination of this language in the bill, and will continue to monitor and provide input into the specific educational requirements needed by a dental assistant to scale teeth.

IDHA is proud to have continued to pursue this legislation and looks forward to increasing access to care for the underserved in Illinois.

HB500 was sent to Governor Rauner to sign into law.  IDHA will continue providing information as HB500 progresses through the legislative process and requirements / protocols as they become available.

Thank you,

Gaylene V. Baker, RDH, BSDH, MBA

IDHA President


Kimberly K. Benkert, RDH, BSDH, MPH, COM, FAADH

IDHA Legislation Chair

IDHA Past President

ADHA Past President

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