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Washington State Dental Association

DQAC Update: 7/27/16

On Friday, July 15, the Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) held their fifth meeting of 2016 to discuss ongoing regulatory business. The meeting also included a public hearing to review the following rule proposals:

WAC 246-817-160: Graduates of nonaccredited dental schools

Filed as WSR #16-11-048, the proposed rule amendments clarify the clinical education and examination eligibility process for graduates of nonaccredited dental schools. The proposed rule requires that predoctoral or postdoctoral education include clinical training and be accredited by the ADA’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) for education completed after July 1, 2018. No comments or testimony were submitted to the commission in opposition of the proposed rule and it was approved unanimously.

Rule Updates

WAC 246-817-510, 520, 525, 540, and 545: Dentist delegation of duties to dental assistants and expanded function dental auxiliaries (EFDAs)

The commission recently released rule amendments that would update the scope of practice for registered dental assistants and EFDAs. A copy of the complete proposal can be viewed here. One area of the existing rule that required clarification identified that sterilization technicians are required to register with the Department of Health as dental assistants prior to performing any sterilization tasks. 

All comments related to these rule changes should be submitted to DQAC’s Program Manager, Jennifer Santiago, at jennifer.santiago@doh.wa.gov no later than August 30, 2016.

WAC 246-817-550 and 560: Acts that may be performed by licensed dental hygienists

The commission is also considering rule amendments to move specific tasks previously allowable under close supervision to general supervision for dental hygienists. A copy of the complete proposal can be viewed here. Tasks allowable under general supervision would not require the dentist to be physically present. 

All comments related to these rule changes should be submitted to DQAC’s Program Manager, Jennifer Santiago, at jennifer.santiago@doh.wa.gov no later than August 30, 2016.

In addition to the aforementioned rule proposal, DQAC has also been in the process of developing and amending the following sections of the Washington Administrative Code: 

DQAC rulemaking typically occurs in three phases; CR-101: Inquiry, CR-102: Proposal and CR-103: Adoption. The Commission also has the authority to expedite rulemaking through a CR-105 form. 

  • WAC 246-817-760: Moderate sedation with parenteral agents (Status: CR-102)
  • WAC 246-817-550 & 560: Acts that may be performed by licensed dental hygienists under general supervision and close supervision (Status: CR-102)
  • WAC 246-817-440: Continuing education (Status: CR-101)
  • WAC 246-817-340: Recording requirements for all prescription drugs (Status: CR-105)
    • Will take effect August 2016
  • WAC 246-817-120: Examination content (Status: CR-103)
  • WAC 246-817-601, 610, 620, and 630: Infection Control rules (Status CR-101)

Continuing Competency Requirement

The commission also considered the feasibility of implementing a continuing competency requirement for licensed dentists in Washington. This would be in addition to the existing 21-hour continuing education requirement. Currently, no other states have a comprehensive continuing competency skill requirement for licensed dentists, however, similar programs have been developed in several Canadian provinces. DQAC opted to establish a subcommittee to further explore the concept. WSDA will be an active participant at these meetings and provide ongoing feedback and recommendations to the subcommittee.

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