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A Letter to the Governor

March 23, 2020 

The Honorable Roy Cooper Governor
North Carolina 20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301 

Dear Governor Cooper, 

It is with pride and great privilege that I write to you today on behalf of the North Carolina Dental Hygienists’ Association. As president, I represent the more than 7,000 licensed Dental Hygienists in this state, and their interest in the ongoing public health crisis COVID-19. We would like to offer our most sincere thanks for your dedication and exhaustive work for the people of North Carolina. We are better as a state for your leadership and guidance. 

As you are aware, on March 18, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued recommendations on elective surgery and procedures; these recommendations are particularly strong with respect to dental procedures. Indeed, dental procedures are afforded particular emphasis. The CMS recommendations caution that: “Dental procedures use PPE [personal protective equipment] and have one of the highest risks of transmission due to the close proximity of the healthcare provider to the patient. To reduce the risk of spread and to preserve PPE, we are recommending that all non-essential dental exams and procedures be postponed until further notice.” 

Unfortunately, there has not been a mandate placed on dental offices and many are continuing business as usual without heeding the guidelines set forth by CMS, CDC, The White House and ADA. This decision directly endangers dental hygienists, office staff and patients and we believe such a mandate is necessary not only to help stop the spread of COVID-19 but to free up all available medical resources to the healthcare workers on the front lines who must have these items to do their jobs without potential exposure. Additionally, new studies indicate that people may acquire the coronavirus through the air and after touching contaminated objects. Scientists discovered the virus is detectable for up to three hours in aerosols, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. 

Governor Cooper, we implore you to set a mandate on dental offices so that our resources can be re-directed to the appropriate areas and our dental professionals can be available to assist anywhere we are needed. 

In Best Health, 

Heather Edly, RDH, BSPH, CHES

ADHA President Matt Crespin Letter to Gov. Cooper

The results of our T-Shirt fundraising design are in!

FYI: This is an ongoing campaign, so no pressure to buy in this time of crisis if you cannot do it.

We are in this together~always

HYGIENE STRONG!

Dental offices plan to reopen amid pandemic – North Carolina Health News

By Anne Blythe Michael Riccobene had just completed an emergency root canal for a man whose front tooth was bothering him so much the patient could have ended up in an emergency room.  Learn More

Update on US Senate COVID-19 hearings: CDC promises new dental guidelines, Sen. Collins questions continued dental closures (Video) Learn More

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Oral Health Section has announced its next quarterly training for Public Health Hygienists beginning on June 1, 2020. Click here for eligibility requirements. All eligible hygienists are encouraged to contact Dr. Jessica Scott-Jeffries for registration information. The deadline to register is Friday, May 22, 2020.

About Our Association

Lets Begin with a Brief History

In the earlier years of our association, five charter members: Carolyn Smart Keith, Winifred Brewer Burns, Maxine Bowman, Mary Louise Tuttle and Nancy Horton Pappas created NCDHA’S Constitution and Bylaws and were adopted in 1949, at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Dental Society, in Pinehurst, NC. Over the next decade, dental hygienists slowly transitioned from public programs into the private practice setting by educating dentists and the public about the advantages of the preventive therapies provided by dental hygienists. Dental hygiene education in North Carolina began in 1953 at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, accepting 11 students who graduated in 1955. Dental hygiene education programs were implemented at the community college level beginning in 1965.

Who We are Today 

The North Carolina Dental Hygienists’ Association is part of the tripartite structure of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), making all ADHA members a member of NCDHA as well as members of one of our 11 components. We proudly represent over 7,000 dental hygienists and we are your resource for current information impacting dental hygienists in North Carolina and throughout the nation!

NCDHA 3RD Annual Session

GET AHEAD OF THE GAME!

Charlotte, NC

September 25-27, 2020

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