Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 27. Dentistry

Article 1. Board of Dentistry.

§ 54.1-2700. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Appliance" means a permanent or removable device used in a plan of dental care, including crowns, fillings, bridges, braces, dentures, orthodontic aligners, and sleep apnea devices.

"Board" means the Board of Dentistry.

"Dental hygiene" means duties related to patient assessment and the rendering of educational, preventive, and therapeutic dental services specified in regulations of the Board and not otherwise restricted to the practice of dentistry.

"Dental hygienist" means a person who is licensed by the Board to practice dental hygiene.

"Dentist" means a person who has been awarded a degree in and is licensed by the Board to practice dentistry.

"Dentistry" means the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, through surgical, nonsurgical, or related procedures, of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral cavity and the maxillofacial, adjacent, and associated structures and their impact on the human body.

"Digital scan" means digital technology that creates a computer-generated replica of the hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity using enhanced digital photography.

"Digital scan technician" means a person who has completed a training program approved by the Board to take digital scans of intraoral and extraoral hard and soft tissues for use in teledentistry.

"Digital work order" means the digital equivalent of a written dental laboratory work order used in the construction or repair of an appliance.

"License" means the document issued to an applicant upon completion of requirements for admission to practice dentistry or dental hygiene in the Commonwealth or upon registration for renewal of license to continue the practice of dentistry or dental hygiene in the Commonwealth.

"License to practice dentistry" means any license to practice dentistry issued by the Board.

"Maxillofacial" means pertaining to the jaws and face, particularly with reference to specialized surgery of this region.

"Oral and maxillofacial surgeon" means a person who has successfully completed an oral and maxillofacial residency program, approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, and who holds a valid license from the Board.

"Store-and-forward technologies" means the technologies that allow for the electronic transmission of dental and health information, including images, photographs, documents, and health histories, through a secure communication system.

"Teledentistry" means the delivery of dentistry between a patient and a dentist who holds a license to practice dentistry issued by the Board through the use of telehealth systems and electronic technologies or media, including interactive, two-way audio or video.

1950, p. 983, § 54-200.1; 1970, c. 639; 1972, c. 805; 1988, c. 765; 2001, c. 662; 2013, c. 240; 2020, cc. 37, 220.

§ 54.1-2701. Exemptions.

This chapter shall not:

1. Apply to a licensed physician or surgeon unless he practices dentistry as a specialty;

2. Apply to an advanced practice registered nurse certified by the Board of Nursing and the Board of Medicine except that intraoral procedures shall be performed only under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist;

3. Apply to a dentist or a dental hygienist of the United States Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Public Health Service, or Department of Veterans Affairs;

4. Apply to any dentist of the United States Army, Navy, Coast Guard, or Air Force rendering services voluntarily and without compensation while deemed to be licensed pursuant to § 54.1-106;

5. Apply to any dentist or dental hygienist who (i) does not regularly practice dentistry in Virginia, (ii) holds a current valid license or certificate to practice as a dentist or dental hygienist in another state, territory, district or possession of the United States, (iii) volunteers to provide free health care to an underserved area of the Commonwealth under the auspices of a publicly supported nonprofit organization that sponsors the provision of health care to populations of underserved people, (iv) files a copy of the license or certificate issued in such other jurisdiction with the Board, (v) notifies the Board at least five days prior to the voluntary provision of services of the dates and location of such service, and (vi) acknowledges, in writing, that such licensure exemption shall only be valid, in compliance with the Board's regulations, during the limited period that such free health care is made available through the nonprofit organization on the dates and at the location filed with the Board. Clauses (iv), (v), and (vi) shall not apply to dentists and dental hygienists volunteering to provide free health care to an underserved area of the Commonwealth under the auspices of a publicly supported nonprofit organization that sponsors the provision of health care to populations of underserved people if they do so for a period not exceeding three consecutive days and if the nonprofit organization verifies that the practitioner has a valid, unrestricted license in another state. The Board may deny the right to practice in Virginia to any dentist or dental hygienist whose license has been previously suspended or revoked, who has been convicted of a felony, or who is otherwise found to be in violation of applicable laws or regulations; or

6. Prevent an office assistant from performing usual secretarial duties or other assistance as set forth in regulations promulgated by the Board.

Code 1950, §§ 54-149 through 54-151, 54-172; 1970, c. 639; 1972, c. 805, § 54-200.23; 1975, c. 479; 1988, c. 765; 1995, c. 509; 2002, c. 740; 2003, c. 495; 2019, c. 290; 2023, c. 183.

§ 54.1-2702. Board; membership; terms of office; officers; quorum.

The Board of Dentistry shall consist of ten members as follows: seven dentists, one citizen member and two dental hygienists.

The professional members of the Board shall be licensed practitioners of dentistry or dental hygiene, of acknowledged ability in the profession, and must have practiced dentistry or dental hygiene in this Commonwealth for at least three years.

The terms of office of the members shall be four years.

The Board shall annually choose a president and a secretary-treasurer and shall meet at least annually at such times and places as it may deem proper. A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.

Code 1950, §§ 54-153 through 54-155, 54-157, 54-161, 54-162; 1972, c. 805; 1977, c. 669; 1985, c. 49; 1986, c. 464; 1988, cc. 42, 66, 765; 1992, c. 411.

§ 54.1-2703. Inspection of dental offices and laboratories.

Employees of the Department of Health Professions, when properly identified, shall be authorized, during ordinary business hours, to enter and inspect any dental office or dental laboratory for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 54-167; 1962, c. 45; 1972, c. 805; 1988, c. 765; 2005, cc. 505, 587.

§ 54.1-2704. Nominations.

Nominations may be made for each professional vacancy from a list of three names submitted to the Governor by the Virginia Dental Association, the Old Dominion State Dental Society, the Virginia Dental Hygienists' Association, and the Commonwealth Dental Hygienists' Society. Further, any licensee of this chapter may submit nominations to the Governor. The Governor shall not be bound to make any appointment from among the nominees.

Code 1950, § 54-156; 1972, c. 805; 1977, c. 669; 1986, c. 464; 1988, c. 765; 2005, cc. 505, 587.

§ 54.1-2705. Investigation of applicant for license.

The Board shall investigate the qualifications and truthfulness on registration of any applicant for a license to practice dentistry or dental hygiene, and for such purposes shall have power to send for witnesses, papers and documents, and administer oaths. The cost of such inquiry shall be borne by the applicant.

Code 1950, § 54-176; 1972, c. 805; 1975, c. 479; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-2706. Revocation or suspension; other sanctions.

The Board may refuse to admit a candidate to any examination, refuse to issue a license to any applicant, suspend for a stated period or indefinitely, or revoke any license or censure or reprimand any licensee or place him on probation for such time as it may designate for any of the following causes:

1. Fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in obtaining a license;

2. The conviction of any felony or the conviction of any crime involving moral turpitude;

3. Use of alcohol or drugs to the extent that such use renders him unsafe to practice dentistry or dental hygiene;

4. Any unprofessional conduct likely to defraud or to deceive the public or patients;

5. Intentional or negligent conduct in the practice of dentistry or dental hygiene which causes or is likely to cause injury to a patient or patients;

6. Employing or assisting persons whom he knew or had reason to believe were unlicensed to practice dentistry or dental hygiene;

7. Publishing or causing to be published in any manner an advertisement relating to his professional practice which (i) is false, deceptive or misleading, (ii) contains a claim of superiority, or (iii) violates regulations promulgated by the Board governing advertising;

8. Mental or physical incompetence to practice his profession with safety to his patients and the public;

9. Violating, assisting, or inducing others to violate any provision of this chapter or any Board regulation;

10. Conducting his practice in a manner contrary to the standards of ethics of dentistry or dental hygiene;

11. Practicing or causing others to practice in a manner as to be a danger to the health and welfare of his patients or to the public;

12. Practicing outside the scope of the dentist's or dental hygienist's education, training, and experience;

13. Performing a procedure subject to certification without such valid certification required by the Board pursuant to § 54.1-2709.1 and Board regulations; however, procedures performed pursuant to the provisions of subsection A of § 54.1-2711.1 as part of an American Dental Association accredited residency program shall not require such certification;

14. The revocation, suspension or restriction of a license to practice dentistry or dental hygiene in another state, possession or territory of the United States or foreign country; or

15. The violation of any provision of a state or federal law or regulation relating to manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or administering drugs.

Code 1950, § 54-187; 1962, c. 45; 1972, c. 805; 1973, c. 391; 1975, c. 479; 1978, cc. 247, 248; 1984, c. 28; 1988, c. 765; 2001, c. 662; 2004, c. 64; 2005, cc. 505, 587.

§ 54.1-2707. Reserved.


§ 54.1-2708. Disciplinary action discretion.

Except in the case of a monetary penalty, the Board may take disciplinary action notwithstanding any action pending before or consummated before any court or any criminal penalty which has been or may be imposed.

1972, c. 805, § 54-189.1; 1975, c. 479; 1978, c. 248; 1988, cc. 64; 765; 1997, c. 556.

§ 54.1-2708.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1997, c. 698.

§ 54.1-2708.2. Recovery of monitoring costs.

The Board may recover from any licensee against whom disciplinary action has been imposed reasonable administrative costs associated with investigating and monitoring such licensee and confirming compliance with any terms and conditions imposed upon the licensee as set forth in the order imposing disciplinary action. Such recovery shall not exceed a total of $5,000. All administrative costs recovered pursuant to this section shall be paid by the licensee to the Board. Such administrative costs shall be deposited into the account of the Board and shall not constitute a fine or penalty.

2009, c. 89.

§ 54.1-2708.3. Regulation of mobile dental clinics.

No person shall operate a mobile dental clinic or other portable dental operation without first registering such mobile dental clinic or other portable dental operation with the Board, except that the following shall be exempt from such registration requirement: (i) mobile dental clinics or other portable dental operations operated by federal, state, or local government agencies or other entities identified by the Board in regulations; (ii) mobile dental clinics operated by federally qualified health centers with a dental component that provides dental services via mobile model to adults and children within 30 miles of the federally qualified health center; (iii) mobile dental clinics operated by free health clinics or health safety net clinics that have been granted tax-exempt status pursuant to § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that provide dental services via mobile model to adults and children within 30 miles of the free health clinic or health safety net clinic; and (iv) mobile dental clinics that provide dental services via mobile model to individuals who are not ambulatory and who reside in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, adult care homes, or private homes.

The Board shall promulgate regulations for mobile dental clinics and other portable dental operations to ensure that patient safety is protected, appropriate dental services are rendered, and needed follow-up care is provided. Such regulations shall include, but not be limited to, requirements for the registration of mobile dental clinics, locations where services may be provided, requirements for reporting by providers, and other requirements necessary to provide accountability for services rendered.

2010, c. 405; 2016, c. 78.

§ 54.1-2708.4. Board to adopt regulations related to prescribing of opioids.

The Board shall adopt regulations for the prescribing of opioids, which shall include guidelines for:

1. The treatment of acute pain, which shall include (i) requirements for an appropriate patient history and evaluation, (ii) limitations on dosages or day supply of drugs prescribed, (iii) requirements for appropriate documentation in the patient's health record, and (iv) a requirement that the prescriber request and review information contained in the Prescription Monitoring Program in accordance with § 54.1-2522.1;

2. The treatment of chronic pain, which shall include, in addition to the requirements for treatment of acute pain set forth in subdivision 1, requirements for (i) development of a treatment plan for the patient, (ii) an agreement for treatment signed by the provider and the patient that includes permission to obtain urine drug screens, and (iii) periodic review of the treatment provided at specific intervals to determine the continued appropriateness of such treatment; and

3. Referral of patients to whom opioids are prescribed for substance abuse counseling or treatment, as appropriate.

2017, cc. 291, 682.