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Washington State Dental Association

DQAC Update: 3/30/16

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) is currently in the process of amending and implementing several new rules impacting the dental profession. Stakeholders within the dental industry are encouraged to weigh in with public comments before rulemaking proposals are finalized. All comments should be submitted to DQAC Program Manager Jennifer Santiago at

Rules Needing Comments:

WAC 246-817-550 & 560: Acts that may be performed by Licensed Dental Hygienists
The proposed rule amendments for WAC 246-817-550 and 560, acts that may be performed by licensed dental hygienists, would be modified to allow the following:
1. Administration of head and neck examinations under general supervision
2. Administration of injections of local anesthetic under general supervision
3. Delivery of oral antibiotic prophylaxis under general supervision
4. Taking of impressions, bite registrations, or digital scans under general supervision

All comments or concerns regarding the proposed rule changes must be submitted no later than April 8, 2016.

WAC 246-817-160: Graduates of Non-accredited Dental Schools
The commission is considering amendments to education requirements for graduates of non-accredited dental schools to clarify the clinical education and examination eligibility process. The proposed rule requires that predoctoral or postdoctoral education must include clinical training and be accredited by CODA beginning July 1, 2018.

All comments or concerns regarding the proposed rule change must be submitted no later than April 15, 2016.

WAC 246-817-120: Examination Content
The proposed rule modifies WAC 246-817-120 examination content by adding examination subject content required to be obtained by a licensed dentist and indicates which other states’ and Canadian clinical examinations are acceptable.

All comments or concerns regarding the proposed rule change must be submitted no later than April 18, 2016.

New Rule Implementation Dates:

WAC 246-817-724, 740, 745,755, 760, and 772: Dental Sedation
Beginning April 1, 2016, the updated monitoring and equipment requirements for the administration of anesthetic agents for dental procedures will take effect. The adopted rules set minimum patient safety standards when administering minimal and moderate sedation, remove a duplicate statement requiring a trained individual to be present to monitor, and clarify continuing education requirements.

WAC 246-817-204, 205, 310, and 310: Dental Treatment Records
Beginning April 17, 2016, Washington law will require licensed dentists to maintain patient records for a minimum of six years from the date of last treatment. Additionally, if requested as part of an investigation authorized by the Secretary of Health, a licensed dentist must provide business documents including, but not limited to, contracts or agreements governing the dental practice business relationships with co-owners, partners, and associations.

More information on these rule changes can be found online at the Department of Health’s website. Should you have any additional questions regarding legal and regulatory issues, please contact Michael Walsh at or by phone at (206) 448-1914

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TAGGED: Regulatory DQAC