Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 27. Dentistry
12/3/2021

§ 54.1-2711. Practice of dentistry.

A. Any person shall be deemed to be practicing dentistry who (i) uses the words dentist, or dental surgeon, the letters D.D.S., D.M.D., or any letters or title in connection with his name, which in any way represents him as engaged in the practice of dentistry; (ii) holds himself out, advertises, or permits to be advertised that he can or will perform dental operations of any kind; (iii) diagnoses, treats, or professes to diagnose or treat any of the diseases or lesions of the oral cavity, its contents, or contiguous structures; or (iv) extracts teeth, corrects malpositions of the teeth or jaws, takes or causes to be taken digital scans or impressions for the fabrication of appliances or dental prosthesis, supplies or repairs artificial teeth as substitutes for natural teeth, or places in the mouth and adjusts such substitutes. Taking impressions for mouth guards that may be self-fabricated or obtained over-the-counter does not constitute the practice of dentistry.

B. No person shall practice dentistry unless a bona fide dentist-patient relationship is established in person or through teledentistry. A bona fide dentist-patient relationship shall exist if the dentist has (i) obtained or caused to be obtained a health and dental history of the patient; (ii) performed or caused to be performed an appropriate examination of the patient, either physically, through use of instrumentation and diagnostic equipment through which digital scans, photographs, images, and dental records are able to be transmitted electronically, or through use of face-to-face interactive two-way real-time communications services or store-and-forward technologies; (iii) provided information to the patient about the services to be performed; and (iv) initiated additional diagnostic tests or referrals as needed. In cases in which a dentist is providing teledentistry, the examination required by clause (ii) shall not be required if the patient has been examined in person by a dentist licensed by the Board within the six months prior to the initiation of teledentistry and the patient's dental records of such examination have been reviewed by the dentist providing teledentistry.

C. No person shall deliver dental services through teledentistry unless he holds a license to practice dentistry in the Commonwealth issued by the Board and has established written or electronic protocols for the practice of teledentistry that include (i) methods to ensure that patients are fully informed about services provided through the use of teledentistry, including obtaining informed consent; (ii) safeguards to ensure compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations related to the privacy of health information; (iii) documentation of all dental services provided to a patient through teledentistry, including the full name, address, telephone number, and Virginia license number of the dentist providing such dental services; (iv) procedures for providing in-person services or for the referral of patients requiring dental services that cannot be provided by teledentistry to another dentist licensed to practice dentistry in the Commonwealth who actually practices dentistry in an area of the Commonwealth the patient can readily access; (v) provisions for the use of appropriate encryption when transmitting patient health information via teledentistry; and (vi) any other provisions required by the Board. A dentist who delivers dental services using teledentistry shall, upon request of the patient, provide health records to the patient or a dentist of record in a timely manner in accordance with § 32.1-127.1:03 and any other applicable federal or state laws or regulations. All patients receiving dental services through teledentistry shall have the right to speak or communicate with the dentist providing such services upon request.

D. Dental services delivered through use of teledentistry shall (i) be consistent with the standard of care as set forth in § 8.01-581.20, including when the standard of care requires the use of diagnostic testing or performance of a physical examination, and (ii) comply with the requirements of this chapter and the regulations of the Board.

E. In cases in which teledentistry is provided to a patient who has a dentist of record but has not had a dental wellness examination in the six months prior to the initiation of teledentistry, the dentist providing teledentistry shall recommend that the patient schedule a dental wellness examination. If a patient to whom teledentistry is provided does not have a dentist of record, the dentist shall provide or cause to be provided to the patient options for referrals for obtaining a dental wellness examination.

F. No dentist shall be supervised within the scope of the practice of dentistry by any person who is not a licensed dentist.

Code 1950, § 54-146; 1972, c. 805; 1988, c. 765; 2020, cc. 37, 220.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.