2016 Georgia Code
Title 43 - Professions and Businesses
Chapter 11 - Dentists, Dental Hygienists, and Dental Assistants
Article 3 - Dental Hygienists
§ 43-11-74. Direct supervision required; scope of duties; exceptions to required supervision for dental screenings

GA Code § 43-11-74 (2016) What's This?

(a) Dental hygienists shall perform their duties only under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. No dental hygienist shall diagnose, prescribe, determine the initial dosage, or increase the initial dosage of nitrous oxide, practice dentistry or do any kind of dental work other than to remove calcareous deposits, secretions, and stains from the surfaces of the teeth, to apply ordinary wash or washes of a soothing character, and to perform those acts, services, procedures, and practices which the board shall prescribe by rule or regulation. The board shall not delegate to dental hygienists the authority to administer local anesthesia, except that this restriction shall automatically expire July 1, 1992.

(b) After meeting such additional education and training requirements as the board may require by rule or regulation, a dental hygienist may perform such other acts, practices, services, or procedures under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist, which the board may prescribe by rule or regulation subject, however, to the limitations set forth in subsection (a) of this Code section.

(c) The requirement of direct supervision shall not apply to the educational training of dental hygiene students at an institution approved by the board and the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, or its successor agency, when such instruction is carried out under such degree of supervision by a licensed dentist as the board may prescribe by rule or regulation.

(d) The requirement of direct supervision shall not apply to the performance of dental hygiene duties at approved dental facilities of the Department of Public Health, county boards of health, or the Department of Corrections. The board shall provide by rule or regulation for criteria for approval of such facilities and for the appropriate degree of supervision by a licensed dentist over dental hygienists performing duties in such facilities.

(e) (1) As used in this subsection, the term "dental screening" means a visual assessment of the oral cavity without the use of X-rays, laboratory tests, or diagnostic models to determine if it appears that a more thorough examination and diagnosis should be conducted by a dentist.

(2) The requirement of direct supervision shall not apply to the performance of dental hygienists providing dental screenings in settings which include schools, hospitals, and clinics and state, county, local, and federal public health programs. Other health fair settings must be preapproved by the board.

(3) Each person who receives a dental screening pursuant to this subsection, or the parent or legal guardian if the person is a minor, must be informed in writing of the purpose and limitations of a dental screening and advised to seek a more thorough examination by a dentist to determine whether or not problems exist that might not be discovered in a screening. There shall be no fees charged for providing a dental screening pursuant to this subsection except for dental screenings provided by employees of the Department of Public Health or county boards of health. These fees must be paid directly to that department or county board of health and not to the individual who performs the dental screening.

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