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Updated Dental Rules

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) recently adopted amendments to dental rules regarding clinical examination and testing agencies and held rule hearings to consider final adoption of rules regarding dental residency in lieu of clinical examination. Various other rules regarding CE requirements, infection control, dental anesthesia, and dentist suicide prevention education are currently in progress.

Recent Rule Changes

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission recently adopted amendments to WAC 246-817-120 Examination Content to clarify that a complete clinical examination must be passed through one testing agency, as the commission believes that completing portions of examinations from multiple examination organizations may not provide an accurate assessment of a dentist’s competency. Additionally, the rule amendment changes the rule language from “consider acceptance of” to “accept” the Canada clinical examination.

View the updated rule that becomes effective November 24, 2017. 

Recent Rule Hearings

At their October 27, 2017 meeting, the commission held a rules hearing to consider final adoption of proposed rules to WAC 246-817-110,155,160, and 220 Dental Residency in Lieu of Clinical Examination. The rule amendments modify Washington state’s current dental licensure rules in order to implement Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1411. SHB 1411 modifies RCW 18.32.040 by allowing completion of a qualifying Washington state dental residency to qualify an applicant for dental licensure in lieu of practical examination. 

After reviewing public commentary, the rule was passed unanimously and will enter the final phase of rulemaking. 

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. 

Current Rules in Progress

Dentist Continuing Education Requirements

The commission is considering amendments to clarify existing continuing education (CE) requirements. Amendments would clarify appropriate CE subject matter, minimum/maximum number of hours in specified subject matter, methods to obtain CE including web-based options, determine if hours in ethics will be mandatory, consider continued competency mechanisms, and standard housekeeping.

Infection Control

The commission has determined current dental infection control standards may be outdated and amendments are necessary to ensure standards are followed to prevent disease transmission in oral healthcare.

Dental Anesthesia

The commission is considering amendments to update general requirements for the administration of anesthetic agents for dental procedures. In addition to general updates, the commission is also considering amendments to address 24 hour on-call availability after a complex dental procedure, on-site inspections for all dentists holding sedation permits, and creation of a pediatric sedation endorsement.

Dentist Suicide Prevention Education

Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill (E2SHB)1612 (chapter 262, Laws of 2017) amends RCW 43.70.442 directing the Dental Quality Assurance Commission to adopt rules to establish a one-time continuing education and training requirement for dentists on suicide prevention education. The commission may determine in rule three or six hour requirement for suicide prevention education to include assessment of issues related to imminent harm by lethal means.

*Source: Department of Health, Dentist-Rules in Progress. Accessed on 11/6/17 at

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DQAC Newsletter - November 2017

The November 2017 Dental Quality Assurance Commission Newsletter is out! 
You can find the November newsletter, along with all previous newsletters, on ​the DQAC website.