Substitute Senate Bill No. 942

Public Act No. 99-197

An Act Concerning Access to Dental Care for Children, the Elderly and Other Underserved Populations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 20-126l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) As used in this section: [,]

(1) ["general] "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

[(b)] (3) The "practice of dental hygiene" means the performance [under the general supervision of a licensed dentist] 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.

[(c)] (b) No person shall engage in the practice of dental hygiene [as defined in subsection (b) of this section] unless such person (1) has a [dental or] 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.

[(e)] (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.

Sec. 2. Section 20-126w of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Nothing in sections 20-126h to 20-126u, inclusive, shall be construed to (1) allow a dental hygienist to practice beyond the parameters of [the general supervision of a licensed dentist, as defined in] section 20-126l, as amended by this act, or (2) prevent a licensed dentist from providing dental hygiene services.

Sec. 3. Section 19a-7k of the general statutes is repealed.

Approved June 23, 1999