States proposing changes to dental roles: 3 updates

Three states have proposed several pieces of legislation that would make changes to various dental roles, including dental therapists, dental hygienists and dental assistants.

More details:


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 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 in 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.

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