Historical Synopsis of the Michigan State Denturist Society
The latter years of the 1970’s were a time of excitement in the Michigan dental technician community. Our close neighbors to the north, Canada, were in the process of legalizing various forms of independent practice for denture therapists. The network was brimming with rumors of activity in Lansing and of an upcoming conference in Chicago sponsored by the National Denturist Association. Several Michigan denture technicians attended an informative and productive meeting that produced very optimistic and at the same time realistic predictions of future battles to come.
A group of technicians were successful in bringing a denturist practice bill to the Michigan legislature in 1985. Their progress was fueled in part by the, now famous, Michigan Report: “Independent Practice For Denturists: A Way To Provide Safe Dentures At A Lower Cost To Consumers” issued by the Office of Health and Medical Affairs, Department of Management and Budget, State of Michigan. This report recommended that independent practice for denturists was feasible, safe and practical. Moreover, it would save the State a million dollars in Medicaid for fiscal year 1984/1985. The denturist practice bill failed in the state legislature that day because not enough votes were cast due to legislators absent attending a dentist society sponsored “function”.
Two decades later in 2006 several dental technicians in leadership positions in the Michigan Association of Commercial Dental Laboratories lobbied the state legislature and were successful in bringing legislation that allowed licensed individuals from other states and provinces to acquire temporary field licenses for one year renewals subsequent to passing a criminal background check and paying certain fees.
Around the same time a group of highly skilled denture craftsmen and craftswomen began studying and self-certified. The Certified Denture Provider classification was employed to support clinical excellence under direct dentist supervision in clinical practice. The Michigan Dental Association attempted to felony prosecute several of the CDP holders and was unsuccessful. Meanwhile the study group of Certified Denture Providers continued to meet and study, adding to their ranks. Many are now pursuing their Medical Denturist Degrees with the various national and international Denturist Universities.
In 2013 the Michigan State Denturist Society proudly joined the National Denturist Association to support the nation wide enrollment of denture therapists and denturists to strengthen the ability to affordable denture care access for citizens and opportunities for our members.