9 legislative moves impacting dentistry: A state-by-state breakdown

Several state legislatures and dental organizations are considering changes that would impact how dentistry is performed and how dentists operate. 

Nine moves:


AB 481 aims to expand dental assistants' scope of practice and create new licensure pathways. The legislation would shorten the current requirement of 15 months of on-the-job training to 800 supervised hours and change the orthodontic assistant permit to a certificated course without an exam. It would also allow those who move to California and hold a certified dental assistant certificate to apply for a registered dental assistant license under certain criteria.


The Illinois State Dental Society announced that dental insurance reform will be the primary focus for its 2023 legislative agenda. The ISDS aims to pass legislation requiring dental insurers to meet a dental loss ratio and is seeking legislation that requires insurance companies to obtain dentists' permission prior to leasing their network. It is also seeking legislation to prohibit insurers from requiring dentists to pay the processing fee on electronic payments and wants to pass legislation to create a standard for when Medicaid beneficiaries can receive orthodontic care.


The Massachusetts legislature is considering four bills concerning the scope of dental hygienist roles and the addition of dental therapists in the state. SD747 would authorize dental therapists to practice in the state. SD653 would allow public health dental hygienists to bill third party insurers. SD1594 would allow dental hygienists to administer nitrous oxide. SD2062 would enable dental hygienists to administer dermal fillers and botox. 


Two dental bills passed Washington's House with the goal of increasing the dental workforce and improving access to oral healthcare. HB 1678 aims to expand dental therapy by allowing it to be practiced at federally qualified health centers and similar facilities. HB 1466 intends to rename the current "limited dental hygiene license" to a temporary license. It also aims to extend the license expiration from 18 months to five years to give dental hygienists more time to acquire their license while working in the field.

The Washington Senate also recently passed a bill to ease licensure requirements for faculty joining dental schools from out of state. Dental schools in the state can provide waivers to prospective out-of-state faculty, but SB5113 would allow accredited dental schools to request temporary licensure for out-of-state faculty who have accepted employment at their schools.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.