CHAPTER 379a*

DENTAL HYGIENISTS

*See Sec. 19a-88b re renewal of certain professional and occupational licenses, certificates, permits or registrations which become void while the holder is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-126h. License.

Sec. 20-126i. Application for license. Application from foreign dental school graduate.

Sec. 20-126j. Examination of applicants.

Sec. 20-126k. Licensure without examination.

Sec. 20-126l. Definitions. Scope of practice. Limitations. Continuing education. Exceptions.

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. Transferred

Sec. 20-126w. Construction of chapter.

Sec. 20-126x. Professional liability insurance required, when. Amount of insurance. Reporting requirements.

Sec. 20-126y. Practice of dental therapy by dental hygienists. Scope of practice. Requirements. Collaborative agreement. Continuing education.


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.

Sec. 20-126i. Application for license. Application from foreign dental school graduate. (a) 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 one hundred fifty dollars.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, each application for a license to practice dental hygiene from an applicant who holds a diploma from a foreign dental school shall be in writing and signed by the applicant and accompanied by satisfactory proof that such person has (1) graduated from a dental school located outside the United States and received the degree of doctor of dental medicine or surgery, or its equivalent; (2) passed the written and practical examinations required in section 20-126j; and (3) enrolled in a dental hygiene program in this state that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or its successor organization and successfully completed not less than one year of clinical training in a community health center affiliated with and under the supervision of such dental hygiene program.

(P.A. 94-149, S. 2; P.A. 05-213, S. 10; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 203.)

History: P.A. 05-213 designated existing language as Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (b) specifying requirements for graduates of foreign dental schools seeking licensure as a dental hygienist; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (a) to increase fee from $75 to $150.

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.

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 one hundred fifty 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; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 204.)

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; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 increased fee from $75 to $150.

Sec. 20-126l. Definitions. Scope of practice. Limitations. Continuing education. Exceptions. (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, a head start program or a program offered or sponsored by the federal Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children, a senior center or a managed residential community, as defined in section 19a-693, a licensed child care center, as described in section 19a-77, or a temporary dental clinic, as defined in section 20-126c;

(3) The “practice of dental hygiene” means the performance of educational, preventive and therapeutic services including: Complete prophylaxis; the removal of calcareous 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; taking alginate impressions of teeth, under the indirect supervision of a dentist, for use in study models, orthodontic appliances, whitening trays, mouth guards and fabrication of temporary crowns; and collaboration in the implementation of the oral health care regimen; and

(4) “Contact hour” means a minimum of fifty minutes of continuing education activity.

(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) Each licensed dental hygienist applying for license renewal shall earn a minimum of sixteen contact hours of continuing education within the preceding twenty-four-month period, including, for registration periods beginning on and after October 1, 2016, at least one contact hour of training or education in infection control in a dental setting and, for registration periods beginning on and after October 1, 2017, at least one contact hour of training or education in cultural competency. The subject matter for continuing education shall reflect the professional needs of the licensee in order to meet the health care needs of the public. Continuing education activities shall provide significant theoretical or practical content directly related to clinical or scientific aspects of dental hygiene. Qualifying continuing education activities include, but are not limited to, courses, including on-line courses, that are offered or approved by dental schools and other institutions of higher education that are accredited or recognized by the Council on Dental Accreditation, a regional accrediting organization, the American Dental Association, a state, district or local dental association or society affiliated with the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association, the American Dental Hygienists Association or a state, district or local dental hygiene association or society affiliated with the American Dental Hygienists Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Academy of Dental Hygiene, the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association when sponsoring programs in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or cardiac life support, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and armed forces of the United States when conducting programs at United States governmental facilities, a hospital or other health care institution, agencies or businesses whose programs are accredited or recognized by the Council on Dental Accreditation, local, state or national medical associations, or a state or local health department. Eight hours of volunteer dental practice at a public health facility, as defined in subsection (a) of this section, may be substituted for one contact hour of continuing education, up to a maximum of five contact hours in one two-year period. Activities that do not qualify toward meeting these requirements include professional organizational business meetings, speeches delivered at luncheons or banquets, and the reading of books, articles, or professional journals.

(h) Each licensee applying for license renewal pursuant to section 19a-88, except a licensee applying for a license renewal for the first time, shall sign a statement attesting that he or she has satisfied the continuing education requirements described in subsection (g) of this section on a form prescribed by the department. Each licensee shall retain records of attendance or certificates of completion that demonstrate compliance with the continuing education requirements described in subsection (g) of this section for not less than three years following the date on which the continuing education was completed or the license was renewed. Each licensee shall submit such records to the department for inspection not later than forty-five days after a request by the department for such records. A licensee who fails to comply with the provisions of this section may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 20-126o.

(i) In individual cases involving medical disability or illness, the Commissioner of Public Health may grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements or an extension of time within which to fulfill the requirements of this subsection to any licensee, provided the licensee submits to the Department of Public Health an application for waiver or extension of time on a form prescribed by the commissioner, along with a certification by a licensed physician or a licensed advanced practice registered nurse of the disability or illness and such other documentation as may be required by the commissioner. The commissioner may grant a waiver or extension for a period not to exceed one registration period, except the commissioner may grant additional waivers or extensions if the medical disability or illness upon which a waiver or extension is granted continues beyond the period of the waiver or extension and the licensee applies for an additional waiver or extension.

(j) A licensee who is not engaged in active professional practice, in any form, during a registration period shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements, provided the licensee submits a notarized application for exemption on a form prescribed by the commissioner prior to the end of the registration period. A licensee who is exempt under the provisions of this subsection may not engage in professional practice until the licensee has met the continuing education requirements of this section.

(k) A licensee whose license has become void pursuant to section 19a-88 and who applies to the department for reinstatement of such license, shall: (1) Submit evidence of completion of a minimum of twenty-four contact hours of qualifying continuing education, as described in subsection (g) of this section, during the two-year period immediately preceding the application for reinstatement; or (2) for an applicant who has not been in the active practice of dental hygiene for more than two years, submit evidence of successful completion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners Examination in Dental Hygiene or a refresher course approved by the department during the one-year period immediately preceding the application for reinstatement.

(l) No provision of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a student of dental hygiene enrolled in a dental hygiene program, as described in section 20-126i, from performing dental hygiene work as a required component of his or her course of study in such program, provided the student (1) performs such work under the direct supervision of a dentist licensed pursuant to chapter 379 or a dental hygienist licensed pursuant to this chapter, (2) shall not hold himself or herself out as a licensed dental hygienist, and (3) shall not receive compensation for such work.

(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; P.A. 13-208, S. 14, 15; P.A. 14-231, S. 41; P.A. 16-39, S. 34; 16-66, S. 11; P.A. 17-146, S. 3, 4; P.A. 18-168, S. 4, 82; P.A. 19-72, S. 7, 8, 9.)

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; P.A. 13-208 amended Subsec. (g) by replacing former provisions with provisions re continuing education requirements, added Subsec. (h) re compliance with continuing education requirements, added Subsec. (i) re waiver of continuing education requirements, added Subsec. (j) re exemption from continuing education requirements and added Subsec. (k) re reinstatement of license that has become void; P.A. 14-231 amended Subsec. (k) by deleting provision re license that has been void for 2 years or less and adding reference to Subsec. (g) in Subdiv. (1), by replacing provision re void license with provision re applicant not in active practice and adding provision re submission of evidence of successful completion of refresher course in Subdiv. (2), and by making technical changes; P.A. 16-39 amended Subsec. (i) to add reference to licensed advanced practice registered nurse; P.A. 16-66 amended Subsec. (g) to add provision re training or education in infection control in dental setting; P.A. 17-146 amended Subsec. (a) by adding Subdiv. (4) defining “contact hour” and making technical changes, and amended Subsec. (g) by replacing references to hour with references to contact hour, and adding provision re at least one contact hour of training or education in cultural competency; P.A. 18-168 amended Subsec. (a)(2) by adding reference to licensed child care center, effective July 1, 2018, and adding references to senior center and managed residential community, effective October 1, 2018; P.A. 19-72 amended Subsec. (a) by redefining “public health facility” in Subdiv. (2) and redefining “practice of dental hygiene” in Subdiv. (3), amended Subsec. (g) by deleting “Not more than four contact hours of continuing education may be earned through an on-line or other distance learning program” and added Subsec. (l) re performance of dental hygiene work by dental hygiene student, effective January 1, 2020.

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.)

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.)

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, or section 20-126y 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; (9) abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals; or (10) failure to provide information to the Department of Public Health required to complete a health care provider profile, as set forth in section 20-13j. A violation of any of the provisions of sections 20-126h to 20-126w, inclusive, or section 20-126y by any unlicensed employee in the practice of dental hygiene, with the knowledge of his or her employer, shall be deemed a violation thereof by his or her employer. The Commissioner of Public Health may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his or her 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; P.A. 08-109, S. 8; P.A. 19-72, S. 4.)

History: (Revisor's note: 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; P.A. 08-109 made a technical change and added failure to provide information for health care provider profile to list of grounds for disciplinary action in Subsec. (a), effective January 1, 2010; P.A. 19-72 amended Subsec. (a) by adding references to Sec. 20-126y and making technical changes, effective January 1, 2020.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

Sec. 20-126t. Penalties. Any person who violates any provision of sections 20-126h to 20-126w, inclusive, or section 20-126y shall be guilty of a class D felony. 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 guilty of a class D felony. For the 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; P.A. 13-258, S. 78; P.A. 19-72, S. 5.)

History: P.A. 13-258 amended penalty for violation of Secs. 20-126h to 20-126w or continued practice without authority from fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than 5 years to a class D felony and made technical changes; P.A. 19-72 added reference to Sec. 20-126y, effective January 1, 2020.

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.

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

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”.

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.)

Sec. 20-126y. Practice of dental therapy by dental hygienists. Scope of practice. Requirements. Collaborative agreement. Continuing education. (a) As used in this section:

(1) “Practice of dental therapy” means the performance of educational, preventive and therapeutic services through any one or more of the following practices and procedures: (A) Identification of oral and systemic conditions requiring evaluation or treatment by dentists, physicians or other health care providers, and management of referrals to dentists, physicians and other health care providers; (B) diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases and conditions that are within the dental therapist scope of practice; (C) comprehensive charting of the oral cavity; (D) oral health instruction and disease prevention education, including nutritional counseling and dietary analysis; (E) dispensing and administering of nonnarcotic analgesics and anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medications as prescribed by a licensed health care provider, except schedule II, III or IV controlled substances; (F) applying topical preventive or prophylactic agents, including fluoride varnish, antimicrobial agents and pit and fissure sealants; (G) pulp vitality testing; (H) applying desensitizing medication or resin in the oral cavity; (I) interim therapeutic restorations; (J) fabricating athletic mouth guards; (K) changing periodontal dressings; (L) administering local anesthetics in the oral cavity under the general supervision of a dentist; (M) simple extraction of erupted primary teeth; (N) nonsurgical extraction of periodontally diseased permanent teeth with tooth mobility of three or greater, except a tooth that is unerupted, impacted, fractured or needs to be sectioned for removal; (O) emergency palliative treatment of dental pain; (P) preparation and placement of direct restoration in primary and permanent teeth that does not require the fabrication of crowns, bridges, veneers or dentures; (Q) fabrication and placement of single-tooth temporary crowns; (R) preparation and placement of preformed crowns on primary teeth; (S) indirect and direct pulp capping on permanent teeth; (T) indirect pulp capping on primary teeth; (U) dental suture removal; (V) minor adjustments and repairs on removable prostheses; (W) placement and removal of space maintainers; and (X) recementing permanent crowns;

(2) “Collaborative agreement” means a written agreement between a dental therapist and a dentist licensed pursuant to chapter 379, that defines the working relationship between the dental therapist and the dentist and the parameters of the practice of dental therapy;

(3) “Dental therapist” means a licensed dental hygienist authorized to engage in the practice of dental therapy under a collaborative agreement; and

(4) “Public health facility” has the same meaning as provided in section 20-126l.

(b) No person shall engage in the practice of dental therapy unless such person (1) is a dental hygienist licensed pursuant to this chapter; (2) has obtained a dental therapist certification that is (A) in writing, on a form issued by an institution of higher education accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation after successful completion of a dental therapy program that includes, in accordance with the Commission on Dental Accreditation's standards for dental therapy education programs, full-time instruction or its equivalent at the postsecondary college level and incorporates all dental therapy practice competencies, (B) signed by the dental therapist and the director of the dental therapy education program, and (C) made available to the Department of Public Health upon request; (3) has successfully completed a comprehensive examination prescribed by the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments, or its equivalent, and administered independently of any institution of higher education that offers a program in dental therapy; (4) prior to entering the first collaborative agreement, (A) has received a certificate of completion, signed by a dentist licensed pursuant to chapter 379, that verifies completion of one thousand hours of clinical training under the direct supervision of such dentist, and (B) has successfully completed six hours of continuing education related to dental therapy; and (5) has entered into a collaborative agreement with a dentist.

(c) A dental therapist shall practice in a public health facility under the general supervision of a dentist licensed pursuant to chapter 379 in accordance with a collaborative agreement.

(d) No provision of this section shall be construed to prohibit a dental hygienist enrolled in a dental therapy program, as described in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section, from performing dental therapy work as a required component of his or her course of study in such program, provided such dental hygienist (1) performs such work under the direct supervision of a dentist licensed pursuant to chapter 379, (2) shall not hold himself or herself out as a certified dental therapist, and (3) shall not receive compensation for such work.

(e) (1) A collaborative agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall include: (A) Identification of public health facilities where services may be provided and the populations to be served; (B) any limitations on the services that may be provided by the dental therapist; (C) age and procedure-specific practice protocols, including case selection criteria, assessment guidelines and imaging frequency; (D) a procedure for creating and maintaining dental records for the patients that are treated by the dental therapist; (E) a plan to manage medical emergencies in each public health facility where the dental therapist provides care; (F) a quality assurance plan for monitoring care provided by the dental therapist, including patient care review, referral follow-up and a quality assurance chart review; (G) protocols for dispensing and administering medications, including the specific conditions and circumstances under which these medications may be dispensed and administered; (H) criteria relating to the provision of care to patients with specific medical conditions or complex medication histories, including requirements for consultation prior to the initiation of care; (I) criteria for the supervision of dental assistants, expanded function dental assistants, as defined in section 20-112a, and dental hygienists in accordance with subsection (g) of this section; and (J) a plan for the provision of referrals in situations that are beyond the capabilities or the scope of practice of the dental therapist.

(2) A collaborative agreement shall be (A) signed and maintained by the supervising dentist and the dental therapist and kept on file at the locations where such dental therapist is employed; (B) reviewed by the dentist and dental therapist on an annual basis and revised as needed; and (C) available for inspection upon the request of the Department of Public Health.

(f) A dentist who enters into a collaborative agreement with a dental therapist (1) shall be professionally responsible and legally liable for all services authorized and performed by the dental therapist pursuant to a collaborative agreement, and (2) may not enter into a collaborative agreement with more than two dental therapists at any one time. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a dentist to enter into a collaborative agreement with a dental therapist.

(g) A dental therapist may directly supervise not more than two dental assistants or expanded function dental assistants, as defined in section 20-112a, or dental hygienists licensed pursuant to this chapter to the extent permitted in the collaborative agreement.

(h) (1) Each dental therapist shall complete, in addition to the continuing education requirements of subsection (g) of section 20-126l, six hours of continuing education in dental therapy within the twelve-month period after such dental therapist enters into a collaborative agreement with a dentist and within each subsequent twenty-four-month period thereafter.

(2) Each dental therapist applying for a renewal of a dental hygiene license pursuant to this chapter and in accordance with section 19a-88 shall sign a statement attesting that he or she has satisfied the continuing education requirements described in subdivision (1) of this subsection on a form prescribed by the Department of Public Health. Each dental therapist shall retain records of attendance or certificates of completion that demonstrate compliance with the continuing education requirements described in subdivision (1) of this subsection for not less than three years following the date on which the continuing education was completed or the license was renewed. Each dental therapist shall submit such records to the department for inspection not later than forty-five days after a request by the department for such records. A dental therapist who fails to comply with the provisions of this section may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 20-126o.

(P.A. 19-56, S. 14.)

History: P.A. 19-56 effective January 1, 2020.