38-1130. Licensed dental hygienist; functions authorized; when; department; duties; Health and Human Services Committee; report.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a licensed dental hygienist shall perform the dental hygiene functions listed in section 38-1131 only when authorized to do so by a licensed dentist who shall be responsible for the total oral health care of the patient.

(2) The department may authorize a licensed dental hygienist to perform the following functions in the conduct of public health-related services in a public health setting or in a health care or related facility: Preliminary charting and screening examinations; oral health education, including workshops and inservice training sessions on dental health; and all of the duties that a dental assistant who is not licensed is authorized to perform.

(3)(a) The department may authorize a licensed dental hygienist to perform the following functions in the conduct of public health-related services to children in a public health setting or in a health care or related facility:

(i) Oral prophylaxis to healthy children who do not require antibiotic premedication;

(ii) Pulp vitality testing;

(iii) Preventive measures, including the application of fluorides, sealants, and other recognized topical agents for the prevention of oral disease;

(iv) Upon completion of education and testing approved by the board, interim therapeutic restoration technique; and

(v) Upon completion of education and testing approved by the board, writing prescriptions for mouth rinses and fluoride products that help decrease risk for tooth decay.

(b) Authorization shall be granted by the department under this subsection upon (i) filing an application with the department and (ii) providing evidence of current licensure and professional liability insurance coverage. Authorization may be limited by the department as necessary to protect the public health and safety upon good cause shown and may be renewed in connection with renewal of the licensed dental hygienist's license.

(c) A licensed dental hygienist performing dental hygiene functions as authorized under this subsection shall (i) report authorized functions performed by him or her to the department on a form developed and provided by the department and (ii) advise the patient or recipient of services or his or her authorized representative that such services are preventive in nature and do not constitute a comprehensive dental diagnosis and care.

(4)(a) The department may authorize a licensed dental hygienist who has completed three thousand hours of clinical experience to perform the following functions in the conduct of public health-related services to adults in a public health setting or in a health care or related facility:

(i) Oral prophylaxis;

(ii) Pulp vitality testing;

(iii) Preventive measures, including the application of fluorides, sealants, and other recognized topical agents for the prevention of oral disease;

(iv) Upon completion of education and testing approved by the board, interim therapeutic restoration technique;

(v) Upon completion of education and testing approved by the board, writing prescriptions for mouth rinses and fluoride products that help decrease risk for tooth decay; and

(vi) Upon completion of education and testing approved by the board, minor denture adjustments.

(b) Authorization shall be granted by the department under this subsection upon (i) filing an application with the department, (ii) providing evidence of current licensure and professional liability insurance coverage, and (iii) providing evidence of three thousand hours of clinical experience. Authorization may be limited by the department as necessary to protect the public health and safety upon good cause shown and may be renewed in connection with renewal of the licensed dental hygienist's license.

(c) A licensed dental hygienist performing dental hygiene functions as authorized under this subsection shall (i) report on a form developed and provided by the department authorized functions performed by him or her to the department and (ii) advise the patient or recipient of services or his or her authorized representative that such services are preventive in nature and do not constitute a comprehensive dental diagnosis and care.

(5) The department shall compile the data from the reports provided under subdivisions (3)(c)(i) and (4)(c)(i) of this section and provide an annual report to the Board of Dentistry and the State Board of Health.

(6) For purposes of this section:

(a) Health care or related facility means a hospital, a nursing facility, an assisted-living facility, a correctional facility, a tribal clinic, or a school-based preventive health program; and

(b) Public health setting means a federal, state, or local public health department or clinic, community health center, rural health clinic, or other similar program or agency that serves primarily public health care program recipients.

(7) Within five years after September 6, 2013, the Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature shall evaluate the services provided by licensed dental hygienists pursuant to this section to ascertain the effectiveness of such services in the delivery of oral health care and shall provide a report on such evaluation to the Legislature. The report submitted to the Legislature shall be submitted electronically.

Source:Laws 1986, LB 572, § 2; Laws 1996, LB 1044, § 415; Laws 1999, LB 800, § 5; R.S.1943, (2003), § 71-193.15; Laws 2007, LB247, § 24; Laws 2007, LB296, § 328; Laws 2007, LB463, § 463; Laws 2013, LB484, § 1; Laws 2017, LB18, § 16.
Operative Date: January 1, 2018