top of page

The State of Vaccination

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

Vaccinations! Yes I said the "V" word. This isn't a blog about why I think vaccinations are important...because they are. Nope this is about who can vaccinate. The state of Oregon is one of the first states to allow dentist to administer any vaccine to any patient. You heard me correctly. Any patient, any vaccine. Two other states, Minnesota and Illinois, currently allow dentists to administer the flu vaccine to adults. Now with the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, several state governors have put executive orders into place which may allow dental professionals to administer this vaccine as well. No matter your stance on the matter, this is a huge step in the scope of practice for the dental world. My hope is that dental hygienists will be included when the topic of vaccine administration presents itself.

Hold up. Dentists cant do that....can they?

Before you start grabbing your syringe and begin inoculating, there are a few more steps which need to happen before you can include this into your practice. Most state laws indicate clinicians need to have proper training in order to conduct vaccine administration. Oregon Health Sciences University is one example of a dental school which created curriculum for current dental students, and this institution created a training program for licensed Dentists.

There has been some push back from individuals indicating dentists don’t have the proper training to administer vaccines. However, with the required training to administer vaccines and the extensive knowledge dentist and dental hygienists have regarding human anatomy and physiology, as well as the understanding of disease processes, creates a well-rounded understanding of when and how vaccines should be administered.

Let's not forget that there are several states in which dentists and even hygienists can administer Botox injections in the head and neck regions to address health related dysfunctions like TMJ issues. (Click on the article from Todays RDH to learn more. ) With proper training, any aspect of care which impacts the health of our patients oral region is a positive step for the oral healthcare team.

It won’t be long before other states follow suit as this is the perfect time to create these changes. With research coming forward the last decade or so regarding the relationship between oral health and the rest of the body it makes sense to integrate this aspect of care into the dental world.

Why do we even care about doing this in the dental setting?

Even though the impacts of COVID-19 has created an environment open to exploring vaccination administration in the oral healthcare field, we must consider other vaccinations as well. A perfect example is the human papilloma virus. This virus is the most common sexually transmitted disease and as we know this is one of major causes of oral cancers. Why shouldn’t oral health care providers vaccinate our patients against this horrific disease? I say HORRAY to this advancement.

Slowly but surely, we are taking positive steps forward in our approach to health care. This is another way health care professionals can collaborate, by treating the patient as a whole individual and not just a specific body part.



To learn more about what Tina brings to the table head to

Her specialty is local anesthesia for the dental provider. Get your FREE anesthesia guide here.

187 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page