ASDA Annual Session


What is the biggest controversy of this year within ASDA? We voted on it at Annual Session!


What exactly happens at Annual Session and why is it so important? Why would the largest debate of the year occur exactly at this meeting?

ASDA Annual Session matters because it determines the direction of the organization for the coming year: The leadership on the both the National and District levels is elected by popular ballot; Top performing chapters are recognized at the Gold Crown Awards ceremony; Lots of coffee, and maybe even some drinks are consumed; Most importantly, ASDA’s current policy positions are amended and debated.


The hot debate of 2018 Annual?! The role of Dental Therapists!


ASDA current policy states that the dentist is the only dental provider that should perform the following functions:

  • Examination and treatment planning

  • Prescribing work authorizations

  • Performing surgical/irreversible dental procedures

  • Prescribing drugs and/or other medications.

An amendment was proposed by a student from Minnesota to include Dental Therapists in this policy. Vigorous debate ensued. The amendment was amended twice, a vote was forced and resulted in solely changing the word Examination to Diagnosis, as in “The dentist is the only dental provider that should perform the following functions: Diagnosis and treatment planning”.


Current Minnesota Board of Dentistry legislation allows dental therapists to perform the following procedures under indirect supervision [dentist present on site]: permanent and primary tooth cavity preps and restorations; Extraction, pulpotomies, prep & placement of crowns on primary teeth; Prescribe analgesics, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics; The usual expanded DH functions.

àLINK: Minnesota Board of Dentistry


It is clear that the language of ASDA current statement of policy does not reflect the law of certain states, but neither does it have to—ASDA is a national organization developed by, and serving students. This means, additionally, that we are in the center of the debate on the efficiency, efficacy, and effectiveness of Dental Therapists in this country.

What do you think about the role of Dental Therapists in your profession?






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