CHAPTER 379a
DENTAL HYGIENISTS

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-126h. License.
Sec. 20-126i. Application for license.
Sec. 20-126j. Examination of applicants.
Sec. 20-126k. Licensure without examination.
Sec. 20-126l. Definitions. Scope of practice. Limitations. Continuing education.
Sec. 20-126m. Display of license.
Sec. 20-126n. License renewal.
Sec. 20-126o. Disciplinary action by the department.
Sec. 20-126p. Change of residence out of state.
Sec. 20-126q. False representations.
Sec. 20-126r. Appeal.
Sec. 20-126s. Payment for dental hygiene care of patients in chronic and convalescent hospitals and convalescent homes.
Sec. 20-126t. Penalties.
Sec. 20-126u. Regulations.
Sec. 20-126v.
Sec. 20-126w. Construction of chapter.
Sec. 20-126x. Professional liability insurance required, when. Amount of insurance. Reporting requirements.


Sec. 20-126h. License. No person shall engage in the practice of dental hygiene unless he has obtained a dental or dental hygiene license issued by the Department of Public Health.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 1; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
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.

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Sec. 20-126i. Application for license. Each application for a license to practice dental hygiene shall be in writing and signed by the applicant and accompanied by satisfactory proof that such person has received a diploma or certificate of graduation from a dental hygiene program with a minimum of two academic years of curriculum provided in a college or institution of higher education the program of which is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or such other national professional accrediting body as may be recognized by the United States Department of Education, and a fee of seventy-five dollars.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 2.)

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Sec. 20-126j. Examination of applicants. Except as provided in section 20-126k, each applicant for a license to practice dental hygiene shall be examined through written and practical examinations by the Department of Public Health, as to his professional knowledge and skill before such license is granted. All examinations shall be given at least once per year and at other times prescribed by the department. Such examination shall be conducted in the English language. The Commissioner of Public Health may accept and approve, in lieu of the written examination required in this section, the results of a written examination given by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations or comparable national examinations subject to such conditions as said commissioner may prescribe; and said commissioner may accept and approve, in lieu of the practical examination required in this section, the results of practical examinations given by regional testing agencies subject to such conditions as the Department of Public Health may prescribe. Passing scores shall be prescribed by the Department of Public Health. Said department shall grant licenses to such applicants as are qualified.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 3; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
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.

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Sec. 20-126k. Licensure without examination. The Department of Public Health may, without examination, issue a license to any dental hygienist who has provided evidence of professional education not less than that required in this state and who is licensed in some other state or territory, if such other state or territory has requirements of admission determined by the department to be similar to or higher than the requirements of this state, upon certification from the board of examiners or like board of the state or territory in which such dental hygienist was a practitioner certifying to his competency and upon payment of a fee of seventy-five dollars to said department. No license shall be issued under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 4; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
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.

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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 or a school; 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; 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. Licensed dental hygienists may provide dental hygiene services in any office of a licensed dentist or in any public or private institution or in any convalescent home under the general supervision of a licensed dentist.
(d) A licensed dental hygienist shall in no event 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 local, 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.
(e) 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.
(f) 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.)
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 amended Subsec. (a) by adding new Subdiv. (2) defining public health facility, designated former Subsec. (b) as Subdiv. (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).

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Sec. 20-126m. Display of license. The license for the current year shall be displayed conspicuously in the office, place of business or place of employment of each licensee. Each licensed dental hygienist shall forthwith notify the department of any change of address or employment subsequent to his licensure.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 6.)

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Sec. 20-126n. License renewal. Licenses issued under sections 20-126h to 20- 126w, inclusive, shall be renewed annually in accordance with the provisions of section 19a-88.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 7.)

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Sec. 20-126o. Disciplinary action by the department. (a) The Department of Public Health may take any of the actions set forth in section 19a-17 for any of the following causes: (1) The presentation to the department of any diploma, license or certificate illegally or fraudulently obtained, or obtained from an institution that is not accredited or from an unrecognized or irregular institution or state board, or obtained by the practice of any fraud or deception; (2) illegal conduct; (3) negligent, incompetent or wrongful conduct in professional activities; (4) conviction of the violation of any of the provisions of sections 20-126h to 20-126w, inclusive, by any court of criminal jurisdiction; (5) the violation of any of the provisions of said sections or of the regulations adopted hereunder or the refusal to comply with any of said provisions or regulations; (6) the aiding or abetting in the practice of dental hygiene of a person not licensed to practice dental hygiene in this state; (7) engaging in fraud or material deception in the course of professional activities; (8) the effects of physical or mental illness, emotional disorder or loss of motor skill, including but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process, upon the license holder; or (9) abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals. A violation of any of the provisions of sections 20-126h to 20-126w, inclusive, by any unlicensed employee in the practice of dental hygiene, with the knowledge of his employer, shall be deemed a violation thereof by his employer. The Commissioner of Public Health may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. Said commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to said section 19a-17.
(b) For purposes of subdivision (7) of subsection (a) of this section, fraud or material deception shall include, but not be limited to, the following practices: (1) Submission of a claim form to a third party intentionally reporting incorrect treatment dates for the purpose of assisting a patient in obtaining benefits under a dental plan, which benefits would otherwise be disallowed; (2) increasing a fee to a patient for a service in excess of the fee charged solely because the patient has dental insurance; (3) intentionally describing a dental hygiene procedure incorrectly on a third-party claim form in order to receive a greater payment or reimbursement or intentionally misrepresenting a dental hygiene procedure not otherwise eligible for payment or reimbursement on such claim form for the purpose of receiving payment or reimbursement; and (4) intentionally accepting payment from a third party as payment in full for patient services rendered when (A) the patient has been excused from payment of any applicable deductible by the license holder and (B) such license holder fails to notify the third party of such action.
(P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 94-149, S. 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4−6; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
History: P.A. 88-230, P.A. 90-98 and P.A. 93-142 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in public and special acts of the 1994 regular and special sessions, effective September 1, 1996; P.A. 95-220 changed effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998; 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.

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Sec. 20-126p. Change of residence out of state. Any licensed dental hygienist changing his residence or place of business to another state shall, upon application to the Department of Public Health, receive a certificate which shall state that he is a licensed dental hygienist and such certificate shall be given without payment of any fee.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 9; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
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.

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Sec. 20-126q. False representations. No person shall falsely claim to hold a certificate of registration, license, diploma or degree granted by a society, school or by the Department of Public Health, or, with intent to deceive the public, pretend to be a graduate of any dental hygiene program or college, or append the letters "R.D.H." to his name, without having the degree indicated by such letters conferred upon him by diploma from a college, a school, a board of examiners, or other agency empowered to confer the same.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 10; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
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.

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Sec. 20-126r. Appeal. Any licensee aggrieved by a final decision of the Department of Public Health in suspending or revoking any license under the provisions of sections 20-126h to 20-126w, inclusive, may appeal therefrom as provided in section 4-183. Appeals brought under this section shall be privileged with respect to the order of trial assignment.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 11; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 96-47, S. 7.)
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. 96-47 changed reference to being aggrieved by "the action" to "a final decision" of the Department of Public Health.

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Sec. 20-126s. Payment for dental hygiene care of patients in chronic and convalescent hospitals and convalescent homes. Payment for dental hygiene care rendered to patients in chronic and convalescent hospitals or convalescent homes shall be made directly to the dental hygienist rendering such care. The Commissioner of Social Services shall not be required to recognize the cost of employing or contracting with a dental hygienist in the rates established for convalescent homes pursuant to section 17b-340.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 12.)

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Sec. 20-126t. Penalties. Any person who violates any provision of sections 20- 126h to 20-126w, inclusive, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both. Any person who continues to practice dental hygiene or engage as a dental hygienist, after his license or authority to so do has been suspended or revoked and while such disability continues, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both. For purposes of this section each instance of patient contact or consultation which is in violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a separate offense. Failure to renew a license in a timely manner shall not constitute a violation for the purposes of this section.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 13.)

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Sec. 20-126u. Regulations. The Commissioner of Public Health may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to implement the provisions of sections 20-126h to 20-126w, inclusive.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 14; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58.)
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.

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Sec. 20-126v. Transferred to Chapter 379, Sec. 20-126b.

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Sec. 20-126w. Construction of chapter. Nothing in sections 20-126h to 20-126u, inclusive, shall be construed to (1) allow a dental hygienist to practice beyond the parameters of section 20-126l, or (2) prevent a licensed dentist from providing dental hygiene services.
(P.A. 94-149, S. 24; P.A. 99-197, S. 2.)
History: P.A. 99-197 deleted "the general supervision of a licensed dentist, as defined in".

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Sec. 20-126x. Professional liability insurance required, when. Amount of insurance. Reporting requirements. (a) Each person licensed to practice dental hygiene under the provisions of this chapter who provides direct patient care services shall maintain professional liability insurance or other indemnity against liability for professional malpractice. The amount of insurance that each such person shall carry as insurance or indemnity against claims for injury or death for professional malpractice shall not be less than five hundred thousand dollars for one person, per occurrence, with an aggregate of not less than one million five hundred thousand dollars.
(b) Each insurance company that issues professional liability insurance, as defined in subdivisions (1), (6), (7), (8) and (9) of subsection (b) of section 38a-393, shall, on and after January 1, 1997, render to the Commissioner of Public Health a true record of the names, according to classification, of cancellations of and refusals to renew professional liability insurance policies and the reasons for such cancellations or refusal to renew said policies for the year ending on the thirty-first day of December next preceding.
(P.A. 96-133, S. 4.)


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