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TxOHC E-brief

The TxOHC e-brief is our way of keeping members and stakeholders up to date with oral health and policy updates from around the state and nationally.

To view past issues click here.

February 28, 2024

Volume: XII  Issue: 2

Dear Colleague(s),
The Texas Oral Health Coalition is currently collaborating with organizations in Texas to advocate to amend the regulations for dental code D9920, Behavior Management. The sign-on letter linked below describes the current regulatory limitation, which we believe should be amended to better serve individuals with behavior challenges, and accomplish the goal for which D9920 is intended.
We are asking each organization/business, or individual to sign on and submit this linked letter to join our commitment to increase access to care and improve oral health for this special population.  Please feel free to share this linked letter with your friends and colleagues and ask for their signature and support as well.  The deadline to sign-on is March 15, 2024.
Once the deadline ends, we will combine all of the individual names and organizational names and logos on one letter to send to leaders in the Health and Human Services Commission. We are hoping this friendly amendment can be accomplished within HHSC and not require legislative policy direction to amend this regulation.
Thank you for your consideration and for your support.
Beth Stewart | Executive Director
Texas Oral Health Coalition, Inc.
4614 Bowie Dr.|Midland, TX 79703
(w) 432-413-8843

Upcoming Webinars

Please join us for our next webinar “Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment for Patients with Substance Use Disorders” on Friday, March 8, 2024, from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST presented by Dr. Simmi Patel, DDS, CTTS.

This course with the Texas A&M School of Dentistry will focus on the substances/drugs abused in Texas and introduce screening tools for use in practice to determine if patients have substance use disorders, initiate a brief intervention and then provide referral sources for treatment.

One hour of continuing dental education will be awarded to those submitting a completed online evaluation. Registration is complimentary but required at to receive your webinar link and passcode.

To learn more about our featured speaker, course description, and learning objectives, please visit

March 8th Webinar

Save the Date!
Veterans Virtual Road Tour
April 26, 2024, at 12:00 PM CT

TxOHC and the American Institute of Dental Public Health (AIDPH) are working together to advance veterans’ oral health in Texas during a Virtual Road Tour, a state-based series featuring tools, resources, data, and advocacy frameworks for improving access and outcomes for veterans. This virtual road tour “stop” includes a one-hour webinar on April 26, 2024 at 12:00 pm CT, designed to empower state-based stakeholders to identify gaps and potential solutions for Texas veterans and their oral health. The interactive session will feature an overview of Texas veterans’ oral health state profile, along with state and national efforts underway to improve the oral health of veterans.

TxOHC Membership Announcement

We are pleased to welcome the following new members since November 28, 2023. 

  • Josie Wilson, RDH
    Clinical Instructor, Del Mar College
    Corpus Christi, TX 
  • Bushra Nikhat
    Masters of Public Health student, Southern New Hampshire University
    Wylie, TX
  • Vancy Patel
     Masters of Public Health student, University of Texas at Arlington
    Arlington, TX 76010
  • Jessica Velez, MPH
    Regional Manager, Maximus
    El Paso, TX
  • Elizabeth Seals, RDA
    Lead RDA, Fuqua Advanced Dental
    Roanoke, TX
  • Amanda Pate, RDH
    Hygienist/Business Specialist, Fuqua Advanced Dental
    Haslet, TX
  • Sandra Landry, RDH
    Hygienist, Fuqua Advanced Dental
    Fort Worth, TX
  • Judy Schoenfelder,
    CHW EB Regional Manager, MAXUIMUS
    Austin, TX
  • Sarah Sanchez-Pequeno
    Regional Manager, Maximus Texas Health Steps Outreach & Informing
    Houston, TX
  • Charlotte Mangrum, LVN
    Campus Nurse, Child Care Associates
    Fort Worth, TX
  • Farrell Scruggs, DDS, CCHP
    West Region Dental Director, Texas Tech CMC
    Snyder, TX
  • Srivainavi Arulmari, MDS
    Austin, TX
  • Simmi Patel, DDS
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences, Texas A & M University School of Dentistry
    Dallas, TX
  • Donna Breedlove
    Region 3 Manager, Texas Health Steps Outreach & Informing-Maximus
    Arlington, TX
  • Blanca Pena, DDS
    Chief Dental Officer, HHM Health
    Richardson, TX
  • Spencer Wood, DDS
    General Dentist, Bellaire Dental Care
    Bellaire, TX 
  • Catherine Tien, DMD
    Adjunct Associate Professor, Austin Community College
    Austin, TX

  Thank you to all of our Active members who renewed for 2024.

Board Member Recruitment

The Texas Oral Health Coalition’s Board Governance Committee is currently working on nominations to replace outgoing board members who have termed out in August 2024.  Elections are held during the annual member meeting that coincides with the annual Texas Oral Health Conference, which is scheduled for August 1-2, 2024 in Austin, TX.  The first requirement to serve on the board is that you must be an active member.  Associate members can convert their membership to active by completing the TxOHC Membership Application at   Active member dues are $50/year.  Terms are for two (2) years and board members can serve a maximum of two (2) terms. 
After conducting a board’s needs assessment, the Board Governance Committee determined we are in need of directors with skills in business organization, finance, or marketing/communications to serve as expert advisors for our board. If you, or anyone you know possess these skills, please send us their name and contact information so we may reach out to them and learn of their interest and experience.  You do not need to have a dental background, but an interest in public health would be an advantage.
Board members meet virtually every other month and have the opportunity to serve or chair various committees they are interested in.
For more information, or to share your interest in this leadership opportunity to assist TxOHC in leading efforts to achieve optimal oral health across the lifespan, please contact TxOHC Executive Director, Beth Stewart at
Board Governance would like to have the slate of nominees confirmed by the end of March, so please do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.

ADA Guidelines on Acute Pain Management Strategies

The American Dental Association released new guidelines on acute pain management strategies for adolescent and adult dental patients this month.  Evidence-based clinical practice guideline for the pharmacologic management of acute dental pain in adolescents, adults, and older adults: A report from the American Dental Association Science and Research Institute, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pennsylvania published on February 5, 2024, in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) offers guidelines based on a review of the available evidence.

“Experts recommend NSAIDs alone or with acetaminophen to manage short-term dental pain in adolescents, adults of all ages [… and] concluded that, when used as directed, NSAIDs (like ibuprofen and naproxen) alone or in combination with acetaminophen can effectively manage pain after having a tooth removed or when experiencing a toothache when dental care is not immediately available.”

Read the news release from ADA or the full article here.

ADA Releases Updated Recommendations to Enhance Radiography Safety in Dentistry

In February ADA released updated recommendations discontinuing the use of lead abdominal aprons and thyroid collars during dental X-rays.

“The use of lead abdominal aprons or thyroid collars on patients when conducting dental X-rays is no longer recommended, according to an expert panel established by the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs. Additionally, dentists should take into consideration the diagnostic information needed from X-rays to benefit patient care or substantially improve clinical outcomes.”

Read the full press release from ADA on these recommendations here.

Please note these recommendations must be approved by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners before dental providers discontinue current regulations and guidelines. 

Save the Date!

TOHC logo

Join us in Austin August 2, 2024.
Visit for more information coming soon.

TxOHC CDE Opportunities

Oral health providers may obtain 1.0 CDE for every one(1) hour of self-instruction. Online courses to choose from include: 

  • Tobacco Cessation  – *NEW*
    • Integrating Tobacco Cessation Support Resources to Improve Patient Access
  • HPV – Healthy Smiles
    • The Healthy Smiles Project: Increasing HPV Vaccination through Interprofessional Partnerships with Dental Hygienists 
    • Framing HPV Immunization Education for Maximum Patient Acceptance
  • Teledentistry
    • Teledentistry in Texas: Opportunities to Increase Access to Care
    • Selection of Teledentistry Platforms and Utilization in Alternative Care Settings
    • Available for edification only – Taking the Mystery Out of Billing for Virtual Visits
  • Treating Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD)
    • Providing Dental Care under Advanced Anesthesia: Oral Sedation, IV Sedation, TIVA, IV Mac, and General Anesthesia
    • Special Conditions and Barriers and Challenges Providing Dental Care to Patients with IDD
    • Understanding and Working with Caregivers and Group Homes, Dental Desensitization/Advanced Behavior Techniques for Patients with IDD at AbSSLC
  • Prescribers
    • Mental Health & Opioid Use Disorder: Using the PMP to improve patient-centered care & communication
    • Statewide Mandate Compliance Using the PMP to Provide Patient-Centered Care
    • Maximizing Your Limited Time: Navigating Challenging Patient Conversations
  • Prenatal
    • Maternal Depression: Signs, Facts & Resources
    • Who Do You Call: Making the Referral Connection
    • Do No Harm: The Ethics, Myths & Business of Caring for Pregnant People
  • Oral Pathology – Great video webinars to refresh knowledge before national exams!
    • Oral Cancer Update
    • Oral Manifestations of Systemic Diseases and Conditions
    • Common Lesions of the Oral Cavity, from Diagnosis to Treatment

To access any of these courses, please visit

With much appreciation and sincerest gratitude, we wish to thank our 2024 Coalition Partners!

LIBERTY Dental Plan
CommUnity Care
Methodist Healhcare Ministries
Mobile Dental Care

Many thanks also to organizational member AccelHealth.

Accel Health

Your Contribution Matters

Your contribution is essential to our continued efforts and will make a positive impact on the lives of millions of your neighbors. No matter how small your contribution may seem, it is an integral piece of the larger puzzle leading to meaningful change. Please join in the advancement of our vision to make optimal health a reality for all Texans. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to your participation in our community to continue this forward momentum.

TxOHC is also raising funds with Planet Green Recycle through our ink cartridges recycling fundraiser. Click here to request your FREE USPS shipping label to recycle your inks. Be sure to type in our Program ID Code: 32140 when completing the shipping form.

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