The Oral Health Professionals Association was formed in 2008 in response to a perceived deficiency in the existing Australian Commercial Dental Laboratories Association, the leading laboratory association of the time.
The membership of the ACDLA was in steady decline, due to decreasing relevancy in today’s industry. It was limited by its primary role as an employers group.
It was felt by many that an association was needed which would represent all dental technicians. This concept was later expanded when the OHPA structure was developed, to include all members of the paradental team, with separate colleges for each of the represented groups.
Due to the urgent requirement for dental technicians to have representation at a time of major political change, the College of Technicians was the first to be implemented. It is expected that the College of Prosthetists will follow in the near future. Other colleges will depend on the interest and need from other sectors.
Up until 2008, South Australia dental technicians had been enjoying the benefits of an active association in the Australian Dental Technicians Association South Australia Incorporated, but the ADTA SA Inc. was struggling to survive despite a fairly large representation of members because of a lack of support for the executive committee. The advent of the OHPA provided a perfect opportunity for SA to combine resources both personnel and financial to help keep representation for SA dental technicians.
The OHPA has also acquired a significant number of prosthetist members who are currently joined under their dual status in the college of technicians.
OHPA also administers, maintains and manages the national Dental Laboratory Accreditation Scheme. This Scheme was established to support and promote increases in the professionalism and quality of the Dental Laboratories within Australia.