BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association held Dental Hygiene Day Tuesday, originally planned to lobby in person at the State House but pivoted to Zoom due to the weather.

The message of 2023 Dental Hygiene Day was “oral healthcare is a gateway to overall healthcare.” The group is advocating for four specific bills.

An Act to Improve Oral Health for All Massachusetts Residents is sponsored by Western Massachusetts legislators Senator Adam Gomez and Representative Smitty Pignatelli. This would create a midlevel practitioner called a “dental therapist”. This would help address gaps in oral healthcare across the state and potentially save the Commonwealth money by making preventative care more accessible.

“Dental therapists would be able to deliver basic but critically necessary care to underserved populations in the state and would work under the supervision of the dentist. They offer an accessible and cost-effective option for preventative and restorative treatment.” Senator Adam Gomez

The ​​Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association is also advocating for an Act enabling trained dental hygienists to administer dermal fillers and botox. This is because botox and fillers are used for many dental issues including Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders and jaw issues, like teeth grinding.

The third bill would be an Act relative to the sustainability of public health dental hygienists through adequate reimbursements that would allow all public health dental hygienists to bill private insurers.

Lastly, an Act relative to dental hygienists would allow specially trained and permitted dental hygienists to administer nitrous oxide under the supervision of a dentist.

Over 200 people joined the event, including several lawmakers.