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What Is Legislative Advocacy?

 

Advocacy is the deliberate process of influencing legislators who make decisions on issues that affect you, your family and your profession.  If NCDHA members spend time introducing themselves to their local Representative and Senator, the strength of the profession would grow significantly! 

Now is the time to speak up about the benefits and needs of our profession! 

 

UPDATE REGARDING PROPOSED RULE CHANGES RELATED TO PUBLIC HEALTH DENTAL HYGIENISTS

The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners and the Rules Review Commission (RCC) of the NC General Assembly recently APPROVED all proposed changes related to the direction of public health dental hygienists especially in underserved areas: Rules 21 NCAC 16W, .0101 and 21 NCAC 16W .0104! These changes will allow public health dental hygienists to provide specific preventive care services to individuals without receiving a prior examination by a dentist and without a dentist being present. These changes will be effective February 1, 2020! To comply with the new rule, a dental hygienist would have to complete the Public Health Dental Hygiene training offered through DHHS [NCGS 20-233(a)] and work with a dentist who has signed an agreement, contract, memo of understanding, or a similar legal document with a public health entity, a county health department for example, and provide the services as provided for in 21 NCAC 16W .0104(a). This rule DOES NOT apply to dentists who provide these services while exclusively in private practice. 

Please stay tuned for more details in Our Upcoming News &Events Section.


This is one positive step forward in addressing the access to oral health care issue in NC! 

 Any dental hygienist wishing to practice under this rule must complete the Public Health Dental Hygiene training offered through DHHS [NCGS 20-233(a)] and work with a dentist who has signed an agreement, contract, memo of understanding, or a similar legal document with a public health entity [a county health dept. for example] and provide the services as provided for in 21 NCAC 16W .0104(a)

Rule 21 NCAC 16W .0101

Section (b) The specific clinical procedures delegated to the hygienist shall be completed in accordance with a written order from the dentist, within 270 days of the dentist’s in-person evaluation of the patient. 

Section (d) A public health hygienist may provide educational information, such as instruction in brushing and flossing, without the Direction direction of a licensed dentist is not required for public health hygienists who provide only educational information, such as instruction in brushing and flossing.dentist. 

Rule 21 NCAC 16W .0104

Section (a) Public health hygienists who are practicing under Rule .0101(a) of this Section and who perform procedures in 6 public schools, nursing homes, rest homes, long-term care facilities, and rural community clinics operated by federal, state, county, or local governments in areas identified by the Office of Rural Health in the Department of Health and Human Services as dental access shortage areas may: 

(1) perform clinical hygiene procedures as described in G.S. 90-221 under the direction of a dentist 10 based on a written standing order, rather than an in-person evaluation by the dentist as set forth in Rule .0101(c) of this Section; and

(2) supervise a Dental Assistant who assists the public health hygienists in the procedures described in 13 Subparagraph (a)(1) of this Rule.

  • (b) Public health hygienists working under supervision of a dentist in accordance with G.S. 90-233(a) and providing services at facilities identified in Paragraph (a) of this Rule who are performing services pursuant to a written order from the dentist must complete the procedures ordered within 270 days.
  • (c) Dentists providing services at facilities pursuant to Paragraph (a) of this Rule are providing public health services and may supervise more than two public health hygienists at the same time who are performing dental hygiene functions.

 

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. Please reach out to us with any questions, etc.

 

Learn More…

The North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC) convenes diverse stakeholders to identify and resolve consumer-level and systemic barriers to good oral health and to accelerate implementation of policies and practices that reduce oral health disparities and promote improved oral health for all North Carolinians. 

North Carolina Licensure Information

FAQ Regarding Dental Hygiene Licensure

The following provides reference information about requirements and procedures related to obtaining a dental hygiene license in North Carolina.

Application Forms and Information: Application Forms and Information

Fees for License: Fees for License

Under North Carolina Law, § 90-233, A dental hygienist may practice only under the supervision of one or more licensed dentists.

Eligibility to Practice Dental Hygiene Outside Direct Supervision: Eligibility to Practice Dental Hygiene Outside Direct Supervision

Continuing Education 

Dental hygienists are required to complete 6 hours of continuing education every year. In addition, dental hygienists area required to maintain current CPR certification received from a “hands on” course.

Dental hygienists may obtain any or all of their required hours through correspondence or online courses which have post-tests and issue certificates of completion.

Dental hygienists with a limited supervision license must complete 6 hours of continuing education every year in dental office medical emergencies, in addition to the minimum 6 hours of continuing education as required for license renewal.

Appropriate course subjects: Courses must be related to patient care. Courses stressing practice management or self-improvement, for example, could not count, while courses in sterilization and infection control, pharmacology, dental materials and dental procedures are acceptable. The Board will accept some risk management courses.

Approved Sponsors for CE Hours: providers who are recognized by the American Dental Association’s Continuing Education Recognition Program, courses sponsored the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental or American Dental Hygienists’ Association, or components of such organizations, the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers, educational institutions with dental or dental hygiene schools or departments, and national, state, or local societies or associations. (Study clubs are considered “associations”.)

Reporting CE Hours: The number of hours completed each year is reported on the license renewal form and no documentation of course work should be sent to the Board’s office. Each person is responsible for maintaining his/her own documentation for at least two years of CE courses completed and must show evidence of completing CE when requested by the Board.

License Renewal

The online renewal system is open from November 1 to March 31 each year. A $50 late penalty will be assessed to those renewing after January 31. Licensees may use the online system to update their address and phone information throughout the year.

All licenses that are not renewed by March 31 become void and continuing to practice without a valid renewal certificate is a Class I misdemeanor. Each day’s violation is a separate offense.

Licenses not renewed by March 31 must be reinstated by the Board. Reinstatement involves submitting an application and paying a reinstatement fee ($225 for dentists; $60 for dental hygienists) along with the current year’s renewal fee.

North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners

The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners is responsible for the professions of dental hygienists, dentists and dental assistants. The purpose of the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners is to ensure that the dental profession merit and receive the confidence of the public and that only qualified persons be permitted to practice dentistry and dental hygiene in the state of North Carolina. The board members include 6 dentists, 1 dental hygienist and 1 consumer member.