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Washington State Dental Association

Dental Collaboration Committee Update

Last Friday, the Dental Quality Assurance Commission's (DQAC) Dental Collaboration Committee met to discuss potential rule making changes related to delegation of duties for dental hygienists. The Collaboration Committee is made up of members of DQAC, the Dental Hygiene Examining Committee, and the Board of Denturists and is tasked with making rule modification recommendations to the full Commission. The following rule modification proposals were reviewed by the Collaboration Committee:

·    Moving the delivery of oral sedative from close to general supervision;
·    Adding the delivery of pre-medications to general supervision; and
·    Allowing hygienists to use onset buffering.

Of those three proposals, only the addition of pre-medications to general supervision was approved and forwarded to DQAC for consideration. Under this proposal, hygienists would be allowed to deliver pre-medications to the patient; however, dentists would still be required to prescribe.

With the inclusion of pre-medication delivery, five rule modification proposals relating to delegation of duties for dental hygienists are currently before the Commission. No formal rules have yet been adopted. Dentists are encouraged to weigh in with their comments and concerns once rule making proposals are made available to the public. It typically takes 4-6 weeks for DQAC to begin writing new language once the rulemaking process is opened.   

Should you have additional questions relating to the Dental Collaboration Committee or the recommended rule modifications, please contact DQAC Program Manager, Jennifer Santiago at: Jennifer.santiago@doh.wa.gov

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