Academy of General Dentistry Leaders Head to Capitol Hill in May

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  • May 28, 2024

Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) leaders met in Washington,  DC, recently to address legislative issues impacting dentistry and ways to protect oral health care. As part of the two-day event, about 30 general dentists representing AGD meet with lawmakers on legislative issues impacting their profession and how patient care is delivered to dental patients.

AGD’s Hill Day, held May 20-21, is an annual event and part of the organization’s year-round outreach efforts to help lawmakers and regulators understand how major decisions impact oral health care. The face-to-face meetings on Capitol Hill allow general dentists to share their personal stories and expert insights and create valuable connections with those who make the nation’s laws. This year, during the event, AGD will recognize and honor Representatives Lori Trahan (MA), Earl “Buddy” Carter (GA), and Senator Susan Collins (ME) for championing changes to the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act that would expand the list of CE providers to include organizations like AGD.

During this year’s meetings, AGD leaders addressed:

  1. Oral Health Literacy Act – The AGD has signed on with other oral health organizations to advocate for a continuance of funding for the oral health literacy program developed by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This bill requires HRSA to conduct a public education campaign to increase oral health literacy and awareness targeting children, pregnant women, parents, older adults, people with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities. (Read bill)
  2. DOC Access Act – The AGD supports the Dental and Optometric Care (DOC) Access Act, which aims to take control of important health decisions from insurers and put them back into the hands of dental and vision care patients and their doctors. This bill prohibits private health insurance plans from setting rates for items and services, except for dental cleanings, provided by a doctor of optometry, dental surgery, or dental medicine for which the plan does not pay a substantial amount. In March of 2023, the bill was sent to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. (Read bill)
  3. Resident Education Deferred Interest Act (REDI Act) – This bill allows borrowers in medical or dental internships or residency programs to defer student loan payments until the completion of their programs. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in February 2023. (Read bill)
  4. Action on Dental Health Act – Passed by the House in March 2024, this bill reauthorized funding through 2028 for HRSA’s oral health workforce grant program, which was initially passed in 2018 to improve the dental workforce and access to oral healthcare. [1] (Read bill)

[1] Olivia Anderson, House passes Action for Dental Health Act of 2023, ADA-News, March 07, 2024,