Public Laws

123rd Legislature

Second Regular Session


Parts: A B C D

Chapter 620

H.P. 1643 - L.D. 2277

PART B

Sec. B-1. 32 MRSA c. 16, sub-c. 3-B  is enacted to read:

SUBCHAPTER 3-B

Independent Practice Dental Hygienists

§ 1094-I.   Independent practice

An independent practice dental hygienist licensed by the board pursuant to this subchapter may practice without supervision by a dentist to the extent permitted by this subchapter. Any licensee of the board may be the proprietor of a place where independent practice dental hygiene is performed and may purchase, own or lease equipment necessary for the performance of independent practice dental hygiene.

A person practicing independent practice dental hygiene as an employee of another shall cause that person's name to be conspicuously displayed at the entrance of the place where the practice is conducted.

§ 1094-J.   Qualifications for licensure

To qualify for licensure under this subchapter as an independent practice dental hygienist, a person must:

1 Eighteen years of age.   Be 18 years of age or older;
2 Licensure as dental hygienist.   Possess a valid license to practice dental hygiene issued by the board pursuant to subchapter 4 or qualify for licensure as an independent practice dental hygienist by endorsement pursuant to section 1094-L; and
3 Education and experience.   Meet the educational and experience requirements described in section 1094-K.

§ 1094-K.   Education and experience

An applicant for licensure under this subchapter as an independent practice dental hygienist must:

1 Bachelor's degree and 2,000 hours experience.   Possess a bachelor's degree from a dental hygiene program accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, or its successor organization, and document one year or 2,000 work hours of clinical practice in a private dental practice during the 2 years preceding application; or
2 Associate degree and 6,000 hours experience.   Possess an associate degree from a dental hygiene program accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, or its successor organization, and document 3 years or 6,000 work hours of clinical practice in a private dental practice during the 6 years preceding application.

§ 1094-L.   Licensure by endorsement

A person eligible for licensure as a dental hygienist by endorsement pursuant to section 1098-D, subsection 2 or 1099 is also eligible for licensure under this subchapter as an independent practice dental hygienist by endorsement if the applicant meets the education and experience requirements set forth in section 1094-K.

§ 1094-M.   Application

An applicant for licensure as an independent practice dental hygienist shall apply to the board on forms provided by the board. The applicant shall include as part of the application such information and documentation as the board may require to act on the application. The application must be accompanied by the application fee set under section 1094-O.

§ 1094-N.   License; biennial renewal; discontinuation of dental hygienist license

The board shall issue a license to practice as an independent practice dental hygienist to a person who has met the requirements for licensure set forth in this subchapter and has paid the application fee under section 1094-O. There is an initial license fee only for independent practice dental hygienists licensed by endorsement. The license must be exhibited publicly at the person's place of business or employment. The initial date of expiration of the license is the original expiration date of the person's dental hygienist license issued by the board pursuant to subchapter 4 or, for independent practice dental hygienists licensed by endorsement, January 1st of the first odd-numbered year following initial licensure. On or before January 1st of each odd-numbered year, the independent practice dental hygienist shall pay to the board a license renewal fee. Independent practice dental hygienists who have not paid the renewal fee on or before January 1st must be reinstated upon payment of a late fee before February 1st of the year in which license renewal is due. Failure to be properly licensed by February 1st results in automatic suspension of a license to practice as an independent practice dental hygienist. Reinstatement of the independent practice dental hygienist license may be made, if approved by the board, by payment of a reinstatement fee to the board.

A dental hygienist license issued by the board pursuant to subchapter 4 of this chapter automatically expires upon issuance under this subchapter of an independent practice dental hygienist license to the same person.

§ 1094-O.   Fees

The board may establish by rule fees for purposes authorized under this subchapter in amounts that are reasonable and necessary for their respective purposes, except that the fee for any one purpose may not exceed $275. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

§ 1094-P.   Continuing education

As a condition of renewal under this subchapter of a license to practice, an independent practice dental hygienist must submit evidence of successful completion of 30 hours of continuing education consisting of board-approved courses in the 2 years preceding the application for renewal. The board and the independent practice dental hygienist shall follow and are bound by the provisions of section 1084-A in the implementation of this section.

Continuing education completed pursuant to section 1098-B may be recognized for purposes of this section in connection with the first renewal of an independent practice dental hygienist license.

The board may refuse to issue a license under this subchapter to a person who has not completed continuing education required by section 1098-B or may issue the license on terms and conditions set by the board.

§ 1094-Q.   Scope of practice

1 Independent practice.   An independent practice dental hygienist licensed under this subchapter may perform only the following duties without supervision by a dentist:
A Interview patients and record complete medical and dental histories;
B Take and record the vital signs of blood pressure, pulse and temperature;
C Perform oral inspections, recording all conditions that should be called to the attention of a dentist;
D Perform complete periodontal and dental restorative charting;
E Perform all procedures necessary for a complete prophylaxis, including root planing;
F Apply fluoride to control caries;
G Apply desensitizing agents to teeth;
H Apply topical anesthetics;
I Apply sealants;
J Smooth and polish amalgam restorations, limited to slow speed application only;
K Cement pontics and facings outside the mouth;
L Take impressions for athletic mouth guards and custom fluoride trays;
M Place and remove rubber dams;
N Place temporary restorations in compliance with the protocol adopted by the board; and
O Apply topical antimicrobials, excluding antibiotics, including fluoride, for the purposes of bacterial reduction, caries control and desensitization in the oral cavity. The independent practice dental hygienist shall follow current manufacturer's instructions in the use of these medicaments.

For the purposes of this subsection, "topical" includes superficial and intraoral application.

2 Practice under supervision.   An independent practice dental hygienist licensed under this subchapter may perform duties under the supervision of a dentist as set forth in the rules of the board pursuant to section 1095.

§ 1094-R.   Responsibilities

An independent practice dental hygienist licensed under this subchapter has the duties and responsibilities set out in this section with respect to each patient seen in an independent capacity pursuant to section 1094-Q, subsection 1.

1 Acknowledgment.   Prior to an initial patient visit, an independent practice dental hygienist licensed under this subchapter shall obtain from the patient or the parent or guardian of a minor patient written acknowledgment of the patient's or parent's or guardian's understanding that the independent practice dental hygienist is not a dentist and that the service to be rendered does not constitute restorative care or treatment.
2 Referral plan.   An independent practice dental hygienist licensed under this subchapter shall provide to a patient or the parent or guardian of a minor patient a written plan for referral to a dentist for any necessary dental care. The referral plan must identify all conditions that should be called to the attention of the dentist.

§ 1094-S.   Mental or physical examination

For the purposes of this section, by application for and acceptance of a license to practice under this subchapter, an independent practice dental hygienist is considered to have given consent to a mental or physical examination when directed by the board. The board may direct an independent practice dental hygienist to submit to an examination whenever the board determines the independent practice dental hygienist may be suffering from a mental illness that may be interfering with the competent independent practice of dental hygiene or from the use of intoxicants or drugs to an extent that they are preventing the independent practice dental hygienist from practicing dental hygiene competently and with safety to patients. An independent practice dental hygienist examined pursuant to an order of the board may not prevent the testimony of the examining individual or prevent the acceptance into evidence of the report of an examining individual. Failure to comply with an order of the board to submit to a mental or physical examination results in the immediate suspension of the license to practice independent dental hygiene by order of the District Court until the independent practice dental hygienist submits to the examination.

§ 1094-T.   Use of former employers' lists

An independent practice dental hygienist may not use or attempt to use in any manner whatsoever any prophylactic lists, call lists, records, reprints or copies of those lists, records or reprints, or information gathered from these materials, of the names of patients whom the independent practice dental hygienist might have served in the office of a prior employer, unless these names appear on the bona fide call or prophylactic list of the present employer and were caused to so appear through the independent practice of dentistry, denturism or independent practice dental hygiene as provided for in this chapter. A dentist, denturist or independent practice dental hygienist who employs an independent practice dental hygienist may not aid or abet or encourage an independent practice dental hygienist employed by such person to make use of a so-called prophylactic call list, or to call by telephone or to use written letters transmitted through the mails to solicit patronage from patients formerly served in the office of a dentist, denturist or independent practice dental hygienist that formerly employed the independent practice dental hygienist.

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333