Tennessee Dental Hygienists' Association

Susan Melton - President

Susan Melton


I am Susan Melton and I am currently serving as the President of the Tennessee Dental Hygienists’ Association. I have been a hygienist…well for more than half my life. I graduated from ETSU and I live and practice in the Knoxville Area. I also lived and practiced in California once upon a time. I now work in a large private dental office with a great team and still love clinical dental hygiene. I am married to my soulmate Chris, and we have 2 very spoiled feline “children”, although they are closer to being old ladies now. I have been a member of ADHA since I was in school as a SADHA member, then transitioned into a professional member after school. I have always felt that a big part of being a professional is belonging to my professional association. I have a heart for service and difficulty saying “no”, so I have landed in many leadership positions, beginning on the local level- then later serving as a state officer, wearing most all of those hats, and somehow arriving here as President. Along the way, I have gained as much or more than I have given. Early on, I never pictured myself in leadership roles, I just wanted to help out. But with every position I held, I grew in experience and knowledge about the profession of Dental Hygiene and TNDHA, and gained the confidence to accept the leadership roles that were offered to me. I also began to understand that if hygienists don’t advocate for themselves, no one else will do it for us. When I moved to CA, hygienists in TN were not allowed to administer local anesthesia. I acquired that skill in order to practice in CA, but when I came home, 8 years later, hygienists in TN still could not give local anesthesia. I knew then that I wanted to be involved in expanding the Scope of Practice for Dental Hygienists to allow local anesthesia, and then everything else we are taught or can attain additional certification to perform. I still want to push the boundaries within which Dental Hygienists can serve until every person in TN has access to preventive oral care. That is my WHY.

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