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Central Issues: Update September 2013

September 16, 2013

Board Issues Practice Clarification to Address Non-Orthodontic Dental Appliances

Based on findings from the Non-orthodontic Appliances Workgroup that met on April 29, 2013, the Board of Denture Technology has adopted a "Practice Clarification" to clarify the role of the denturist in assisting consumers, and when denturists should refer the denturist patient to a physician.

The board adopted the Practice Clarification at its September 9, 2013, regular board meeting. 

The workgroup was established and Practice Clarification adopted due to concerns received from stakeholders regarding potential issues of licensed denturists treating sleep apnea, temporomandibular disorders and other medical conditions that are not within the scope of practice of denturists.

The Practice Clarification recommends that denturists, prior to providing any non-orthodontic dental appliance services, refer patients to a physician if they present with signs and symptoms of sleep apea, complain of snoring, or present with signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorder.

In the case of temporomandibular disorder, denturists should construct, repair, reline, reproduce, duplicate, supply, fit or alter the denture as outlined within the scope of practice of a licensed denturist.  If signs and symptoms of the disorder persist, denturists should refer the patient to a physician, dentist or oral surgeon.

Click here to access the Practice Clarification Addressing Non-Orthodontic Dental Appliances.

Diverse Individuals Serve on Non-Orthodontic Dental Appliances Workgroup

"The purpose of the workgroup was to have an inclusive discussion that promotes consumer safety," says Samie Patnode, Policy Analyst for the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA). 

To that end, OHLA received participation from the following individuals:

  • Shawn Murray, Denturist and Chair of the Board of Denture Technology
  • Dr. Mike Lefor, who specializes in pulmonary and sleep medicine
  • Dr. Julie Anne Smith, who specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Todd Young, Denturist
  • Patrick Braatz, Executive Director, Oregon Board of Dentistry

The workgroup recommended that denturists must first obtain a diagnosis and treatment plan prescribed by a dentist, if applicable, in order to make the following appliances:

  • Anti-snore devices
  • Devices for sleep apnea
  • Devices to correct temporomandibular disorder

"The workgroup focused primarily on circumstances when physician referral would be appropriate in the interest of patient care and consumer safety," says Patnode.

Click here to access minutes from the Non-Orthodontic Dental Appliances Workgroup.

Central Issues:  Update Provides Ongoing Coverage of the Issues

Central Issues covers key issues, news and statistics specific to each of the volunteer citizen boards and health and related professions overseen by the Oregon Health Licensing Agency.

Central Issues:  Update provides updates to board- and profession-specific issues that are ongoing and previously covered in Central Issues.

Click here to access the previous issue of Central Issues:  Board of Denture Technology.

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