S.B. 998 and companion bill H.B. 274 establish an advanced dental hygiene practitioner level of practice. According to the bill text, before performing a procedure or providing a service, an advanced dental hygiene practitioner shall enter into a written collaborative agreement with a local or state government agency or institution, or with a licensed dentist who states that he/she shall be able to provide the appropriate level of communication and consultation with the advanced dental hygiene practitioner to ensure patient health and safety. The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry (Board) shall establish appropriate guidelines for this written collaborative agreement.
An advanced dental hygiene practitioner certified by the Board may perform all acts of a public health dental hygienist, as well as the following services and procedures pursuant to the written collaborative management agreement without the supervision or direction of a dentist (this list is not exhaustive):
- exposing and interpreting radiographs;
- mechanical polishing;
- application of topical preventive or prophylactic agents, including fluoride varnishes and pit and fissure sealants;
- atraumatic restorative therapy;
- restoration of primary and permanent teeth;
- placement of temporary crowns;
- stabilization of reimplanted teeth;
- extractions of primary teeth; and
- suture removal.
On November 19, the Joint Committee on Public Health heard testimony on S.B. 998. According to committee staff, a vote on the bill will be taken in 2014.