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Presidents Message – “Keep the Momentum Going”

A Letter From our President… 

Those of you who know me well, know that I am a fierce advocate for preventive dentistry, education and public health.  I stand poised to take on the challenge of leadership in an effort to encourage and support the open lines of communication that have been created by those who have come before me. My leadership style is collaborative, and I believe strongly in innovation through collective collaboration.  My vision for this upcoming year is to “Keep the Momentum Going”.  I am encouraged by the efforts of leaders in our great state who have recognized the contributions that dental hygienists make to the dental profession and to healthcare as a whole.


As I draft this message the dental hygienists of North Carolina are preparing to join forty-five other states in their ability to provide pain control for their patients through local and block anesthesia, which was a part of legislation that became law on October 1st, 2021.  This is an expanded function we have anticipated and worked towards for many years!   Additionally, through this same legislation the scope of dental hygiene practice has been expanded to include general supervision of dental hygienists employed by public health dentists or designated Healthcare Shortage Areas (HRSA). Hygienists and dentists can also work collaboratively now through the use of tele-dentistry, which allows hygienists to deliver care prior to examination, with a standing order. This means that essential preventative and therapeutic care can now be provided with less restriction in long term care facilities and schools to name a few.


I am inspired by the collaboration that took place to make this vision a reality for the dental hygienists in our state over the past year, and most importantly for the citizens of North Carolina who will now have access to services in non-traditional practice settings. I look forward to continued conversations about how we can continue to make dental care more accessible in our great state. Far too many citizens still visit the emergency room for dental pain, without viable solutions for treatment and for many, the cost of dental treatment is still simply too high!  I believe that there are viable solutions to these issues and that through continued collaboration we will create innovative solutions.


In closing, I quote John Welch, who states– “ A LEADERS JOB is to look into the future and see the organization, not as it is, but as it SHOULD BE”.  When I look into the future, I see a strong organization of Dental Hygienists in North Carolina who advocate for their profession through membership, believing that they play an important role in making decisions about the direction of their profession.  If you are not a member, I hope I have inspired you to join today and to “Keep the Momentum Going!

Thank you for a GREAT Annual Session!

What a feeling being back in person! Thank you to our venders, sponsors, speakers, and our most valuable asset our attendees for supporting NCDHA Annual Session 2021!

About Our Association

Early 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 a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. The North Carolina Dental Hygienists’ Association is part of the tripartite structure of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA). As a member, you also belong to one of our 5 Components. Your membership provides you networking, CE, and leadership opportunities at your local, state, or national level. NCDHA aims to provide educational experiences and knowledge to our state hygienists so that they are up-to-date on technologies, treatment modalities, and policies.   

Why to Join – Membership Matters

CE Events


Industry Leadership

Educational Opportunities & Networking

 Hygiene News in North Carolina


For many years, dental hygienists in North Carolina have explored expanding our functions to include the ability to administer local anesthetic to our patients. On February 25, 2021 an important piece of legislation was introduced to the NC House and Senate that would allow dental hygienists to administer local anesthetic with appropriate certifications. The North Carolina Dental Society, the North Carolina Dental Hygienists Association, the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative, as well as counsel from the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners were responsible for the collaborative effort to develop this important piece of legislation. 

In addition to local anesthetic, this legislation (HB144/SB146) also supports the use of Teledentistry to help deliver oral health care in rural areas. 

Check back often for updates!

As of May 7, 2021 – SB146 has passed all Committees in the Senate where it has been passed back to the House to adopt some minor changes. As for HB144 has passed all Committees and message has been sent to the Senate. 


Membership Matters! Renew

2020 has been very challenging and we want you to know we value and appreciate you! 

2022 Annual Session

September TBD 2022

Detail Coming Soon

Exhibitor Material

Latest News & Events

North Carolina Dental Hygienists Association is excited to announce that we have been approved as a PACE/AGD provider.

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