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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional and Occupational Licensing
Agency 60. Board of Dentistry
Chapter 25. Regulations Governing the Practice of Dental Hygiene
7/3/2020

18VAC60-25-40. Scope of Practice.

Part II
Practice of Dental Hygiene

A. Pursuant to § 54.1-2722 of the Code, a licensed dental hygienist may perform services that are educational, diagnostic, therapeutic, or preventive under the direction and indirect or general supervision of a licensed dentist.

B. The following duties of a dentist shall not be delegated:

1. Final diagnosis and treatment planning;

2. Performing surgical or cutting procedures on hard or soft tissue, except as may be permitted by subdivisions C 1 and D 1 of this section;

3. Prescribing or parenterally administering drugs or medicaments, except a dental hygienist who meets the requirements of 18VAC60-25-100 C may parenterally administer Schedule VI local anesthesia to patients 18 years of age or older;

4. Authorization of work orders for any appliance or prosthetic device or restoration that is to be inserted into a patient's mouth;

5. Operation of high speed rotary instruments in the mouth;

6. Administration of deep sedation or general anesthesia and moderate sedation;

7. Condensing, contouring, or adjusting any final, fixed, or removable prosthodontic appliance or restoration in the mouth with the exception of packing and carving amalgam and placing and shaping composite resins by dental assistants II with advanced training as specified in 18VAC60-30-120;

8. Final positioning and attachment of orthodontic bonds and bands; and

9. Final adjustment and fitting of crowns and bridges in preparation for final cementation.

C. The following duties shall only be delegated to dental hygienists under direction and may only be performed under indirect supervision:

1. Scaling, root planing, or gingival curettage of natural and restored teeth using hand instruments, slow-speed rotary instruments, ultrasonic devices, and nonsurgical lasers with any sedation or anesthesia administered.

2. Performing an initial examination of teeth and surrounding tissues including the charting of carious lesions, periodontal pockets, or other abnormal conditions for assisting the dentist in the diagnosis.

3. Administering nitrous oxide or local anesthesia by dental hygienists qualified in accordance with the requirements of 18VAC60-25-100.

D. The following duties shall only be delegated to dental hygienists and may be performed under indirect supervision or may be delegated by written order in accordance with § 54.1-2722 D of the Code to be performed under general supervision:

1. Scaling, root planning, or gingival curettage of natural and restored teeth using hand instruments, slow-speed rotary instruments, ultrasonic devices, and nonsurgical lasers with or without topical oral anesthetics.

2. Polishing of natural and restored teeth using air polishers.

3. Performing a clinical examination of teeth and surrounding tissues including the charting of carious lesions, periodontal pockets, or other abnormal conditions for further evaluation and diagnosis by the dentist.

4. Subgingival irrigation or subgingival and gingival application of topical Schedule VI medicinal agents pursuant to § 54.1-3408 J of the Code.

5. Duties appropriate to the education and experience of the dental hygienist and the practice of the supervising dentist, with the exception of those listed as nondelegable in subsection B of this section and those restricted to indirect supervision in subsection C of this section.

E. The following duties may only be delegated under the direction and direct supervision of a dentist to a dental assistant II:

1. Performing pulp capping procedures;

2. Packing and carving of amalgam restorations;

3. Placing and shaping composite resin restorations with a slow speed handpiece;

4. Taking final impressions;

5. Use of a non-epinephrine retraction cord; and

6. Final cementation of crowns and bridges after adjustment and fitting by the dentist.

F. A dental hygienist employed by the Virginia Department of Health may provide educational and preventative dental care under remote supervision, as defined in § 54.1-2722 D of the Code, of a dentist employed by the Virginia Department of Health and in accordance with the protocol adopted by the Commissioner of Health for Dental Hygienists to Practice in an Expanded Capacity under Remote Supervision by Public Health Dentists, September 2012, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2709.5 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 32, Issue 05, eff. December 2, 2015; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 05, eff. November 28, 2018.

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