2011 Connecticut Code
Title 20 Professional and Occupational Licensing, Certification, Title Protection and Registration. Examining Boards
Chapter 379a Dental Hygienists
Sec. 20-126l. Definitions. Scope of practice. Limitations. Continuing education.

      Sec. 20-126l. Definitions. Scope of practice. Limitations. Continuing education. (a) As used in this section:

      (1) "General supervision of a licensed dentist" means supervision that authorizes dental hygiene procedures to be performed with the knowledge of said licensed dentist, whether or not the dentist is on the premises when such procedures are being performed;

      (2) "Public health facility" means an institution, as defined in section 19a-490, a community health center, a group home, a school, a preschool operated by a local or regional board of education or a head start program or a program offered or sponsored by the federal Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children; and

      (3) The "practice of dental hygiene" means the performance of educational, preventive and therapeutic services including: Complete prophylaxis; the removal of calcerous deposits, accretions and stains from the supragingival and subgingival surfaces of the teeth by scaling, root planing and polishing; the application of pit and fissure sealants and topical solutions to exposed portions of the teeth; dental hygiene examinations and the charting of oral conditions; dental hygiene assessment, treatment planning and evaluation; the administration of local anesthesia in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of this section; and collaboration in the implementation of the oral health care regimen.

      (b) No person shall engage in the practice of dental hygiene unless such person (1) has a dental hygiene license issued by the Department of Public Health and (A) is practicing under the general supervision of a licensed dentist, or (B) has been practicing as a licensed dental hygienist for at least two years, is practicing in a public health facility and complies with the requirements of subsection (e) of this section, or (2) has a dental license.

      (c) A dental hygienist licensed under sections 20-126h to 20-126w, inclusive, shall be known as a "dental hygienist" and no other person shall assume such title or use the abbreviation "R.D.H." or any other words, letters or figures which indicate that the person using such words, letters or figures is a licensed dental hygienist. Any person who employs or permits any other person except a licensed dental hygienist to practice dental hygiene shall be subject to the penalties provided in section 20-126t.

      (d) A licensed dental hygienist may administer local anesthesia, limited to infiltration and mandibular blocks, under the indirect supervision of a licensed dentist, provided the dental hygienist can demonstrate successful completion of a course of instruction containing basic and current concepts of local anesthesia and pain control in a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, or its successor organization, that includes: (1) Twenty hours of didactic training, including, but not limited to, the psychology of pain management; a review of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology of anesthetic agents, emergency precautions and management, and client management; instruction on the safe and effective administration of anesthetic agents; and (2) eight hours of clinical training which includes the direct observation of the performance of procedures. For purposes of this subsection, "indirect supervision" means a licensed dentist authorizes and prescribes the use of local anesthesia for a patient and remains in the dental office or other location where the services are being performed by the dental hygienist.

      (e) A licensed dental hygienist shall not perform the following dental services: (1) Diagnosis for dental procedures or dental treatment; (2) the cutting or removal of any hard or soft tissue or suturing; (3) the prescribing of drugs or medication which require the written or oral order of a licensed dentist or physician; (4) the administration of parenteral, inhalation or general anesthetic agents in connection with any dental operative procedure; (5) the taking of any impression of the teeth or jaws or the relationship of the teeth or jaws for the purpose of fabricating any appliance or prosthesis; (6) the placing, finishing and adjustment of temporary or final restorations, capping materials and cement bases.

      (f) Each dental hygienist practicing in a public health facility shall (1) refer for treatment any patient with needs outside the dental hygienist's scope of practice, and (2) coordinate such referral for treatment to dentists licensed pursuant to chapter 379.

      (g) All licensed dental hygienists applying for license renewal shall be required to participate in continuing education programs. The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to: (1) Define basic requirements for continuing education programs, (2) delineate qualifying programs, (3) establish a system of control and reporting, and (4) provide for waiver of the continuing education requirement by the commissioner for good cause.

      (P.A. 94-149, S. 5; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 99-197, S. 1; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2, S. 21, 69; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 129, 131; P.A. 05-213, S. 7; P.A. 09-232, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-197 added Subsec. (a)(2) defining public health facility, designated former Subsec. (b) as Subdiv. (a)(3), deleting reference to general supervision of a licensed dentist, designated a portion of former Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (b), dividing it into subdivisions and subparagraphs and adding Subparas. (A) and (B) re practice requirements and Subdiv. (2) re dental license, added new Subsec. (e) re dental hygienists practicing in a public health facility and designated former Subsec. (e) as Subsec. (f); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 amended definition of public health facility in Subsec. (a)(2) to include a preschool operated by a local or regional board of education or a head start program, effective July 1, 2001; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 revised effective date of June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-2 but without affecting this section; P.A. 05-213 amended Subsec. (a)(3) by redefining "practice of dental hygiene" to include administration of local anesthesia in accordance with Subsec. (d), amended Subsec. (c) by removing language restricting where dental hygienists may practice, added new Subsec. (d) specifying kinds of local anesthesia licensed dental hygienists may administer under the indirect supervision of licensed dentists and training necessary before hygienist may administer such local anesthesia, redesignated existing Subsecs. (d) to (f), inclusive, as Subsecs. (e) to (g), inclusive, and made technical and conforming changes in redesignated Subsec. (e); P.A. 09-232 redefined "public health facility" in Subsec. (a)(2), effective July 1, 2009.


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