Governor Signs EFDA
PDA’s advocacy efforts paid off with a legislative victory that improves
access to care and allows for more productivity in dental offices and clinics.
On April 29, Governor Rendell signed HB 602, now Act 19, into law. Passage of
this legislation is the culmination of efforts made over the past three years by
members who participated in grassroots initiatives to educate lawmakers about
the operation of dental practices and the role of dental team members. PDA’s
team of lobbyists, public relations consultants and staff also engaged in a
campaign to inform the public and convince legislators, as well as the Governor,
of the need to pass this legislation.
PDA had this legislation introduced when Governor Rendell enacted a law that
allows for hygienists to practice as public health dental hygienists in public
settings. PDA argued successfully that an expansion of duties would allow
expanded function dental assistants (EFDAs) to “fill the gaps” in those dental
offices and clinics which now have hygienists practicing in public settings.
Act 19 allows EFDAs to perform coronal polishing and fluoride varnish, and
take impressions of teeth for athletic appliances. It also appoints one EFDA and
an additional dentist to the State Board of Dentistry (SBOD), maintaining a
solid majority of dentists to decide on dental licensee issues.
Stay tuned for more information as the SBOD discusses how Act 19 will impact
practicing EFDAs, who may need trained to perform these additional duties, and
those who are currently enrolled in EFDA programs.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to all members who participated in grassroots
efforts to educate members of the General Assembly and Governor’s