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OHLA at 10 Years: Denture Technology
Offering consumers choice of qualified, specialized dental care
Dentures
Oregon was one of the first states to regulate denture technology, allowing consumers the opportunity to choose specialized providers while protecting them by establishing qualifications for licensure and monitoring providers.
 
Developments in denture technology regulation highlight the key role the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) plays in resolving scope of practice issues between professions.
 
OHLA and the Board of Denture Technology, which includes a dentist member, have worked closely with the Board of Dentistry and the Oregon Dental Association to iron out sometimes contentious issues related to scope of practice.
 
After Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 24 in 2002 allowing denturists to install partial dentures, OHLA facilitated the implementation of administrative rules that successfully addressed the concerns of all parties involved.
 
Key to that success was OHLA’s role in fostering an inclusive environment that focused on forging working relationships between practitioners in both professions. 
 
Also key was clarifying the relationship between the education and training of denturists and their scope of practice while acknowledging the overlap in scope of practice between the two professions.

Central Issues in Denture Technology
Todd Young
Todd Young, Board of Denture Technology 2009 Chair
  • Facilitating State-to-State Licensure:  By thoroughly reviewing other state requirements and collaborating with those states, OHLA and the Board of Denture Technology are making it easier for qualified practitioners to gain licensure when they relocate.

  • Reviewing Continuing Education: OHLA and the Board of Denture Technology are reviewing continuing education requirements to determine if increasing hours is necessary to stay current with developments in technology and practice standards and continue to provide competent quality of care.

  • Providing Information to States:  OHLA and the Board of Denture Technology are assisting other states considering denture technology regulation by providing information on how denture technology is regulated in Oregon.

Regulatory Timeline
1979
Oregon voters pass Ballot Measure 5, establishing regulation of, and an advisory council for, denture technology.
 
1991
The Oregon State Legislature revises the advisory council to a policy making board, the Board of Denture Technology.
 
1993
Legislation clarifies the requirement that denturists must obtain an oral pathology endorsement to allow them to provide a full range of denture services without prior examination of the patient by a dentist or physician.
 
2002
Oregon voters pass Ballot Measure 24, allowing denturists to fit and install partial dentures.
 
2007
OHLA and the Board of Denture Technology review and approve the licensing programs of Montana, Maine and Washington, facilitating state-to-state licensure of qualified denturists.