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Chapter 150-5 DENTAL HYGIENE

Rule 150-5-.01 Dental Hygiene

(1) Persons of good moral character, at least eighteen (18) years of age, who have been examined, found qualified and issued licenses by the Georgia Board of Dentistry, may practice as dental hygienists in this State under the terms and limitations set forth in this Chapter.

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 150-5-.01
Authority: O.C.G.A. Secs. 43-11-20, 43-11-71, 43-11-74.
History. Original Rule entitled "Dental Hygiene" adopted. F. and eff. June 30, 1965.
Amended: F. Sept. 24, 1979; eff. Oct. 14, 1979.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted F. Feb. 1, 1999; eff. Feb. 21, 1999.
Amended: F. Jan. 10, 2002; eff. Jan. 30, 2002.

Rule 150-5-.02 Qualifications for Dental Hygienists

(1) No persons shall be issued a license to practice as a dental hygienist unless such person is a graduate of a school or college for dental hygienists recognized by the board and accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or its successor agency. Such school or college must conduct a course consisting of not less than two (2) academic years for dental hygiene graduation.
(2) All applicants must show passage of all sections with a score of 75 or higher on a clinical examination administered by the board or a testing agency designated and approved by the board. The board will only consider examination results from the Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA) that were attained between February 22, 1993 and December 31, 2005. SRTA retake examination results will be accepted until December 31, 2006. After December 31, 2005, the board will only consider the dental hygiene examination as uniformly administered by the Central Regional Dental Testing Service, Inc. (CRDTS) or any other testing agency designated and approved by the board. Applicants must also pass a jurisprudence examination on the laws and rules governing the practice of dental hygiene in the State of Georgia. Such examinations shall be administered in the English language. The Board may hold other examinations as may be required and necessary.
(3) Any candidate who fails any clinical examination three times must take a remedial course of study designated and pre-approved by the board.
(a) Once the candidate shows written proof of successful completion of the approved course of study, the Board will grant the candidate one additional attempt at successful passage of a clinical licensing examination approved by the board.
(b) After a fourth failure of any clinical examination, no further attempts will be authorized or scores recognized by the board for licensure in Georgia.
(4) The applicant must provide the board with a copy of his or her score showing passage of all sections with a score of 75 or higher on the National Board Examination.
(5) An applicant for dental hygiene licensure must provide the board with the following items:
(a) An official transcript under seal showing the date of graduation and degree awarded from an accredited dental hygiene school certified by the appropriate officials;
(b) A certified copy of the results of the clinical examination given by the board or a testing agency designated and approved by the board;
(c) Copies of score of the National Board Examination;
(d) Proof of current CPR certification;
(e) Copies of any and all National Practitioner's Data Bank reports pertaining to the applicant;
(f) Furnish a criminal background check. The applicant shall be responsible for all fees associated with the performance of a background check; and
(g) Verification of licensure from all states where the applicant has ever held or currently holds a license to practice dental hygiene. All such licenses shall be unencumbered by any past or present disciplinary action.
(h) In accordance with O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1, all applicants applying for licensure must submit an Affidavit Regarding Citizenship and submit a copy of secure and verifiable documentation supporting the Affidavit with his or her application.

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 150-5-.02
Authority: O.C.G.A. §§ 43-1-2, 43-11-7, 43-11-9, 43-11-70, 43-11-71, 43-11-71.1, 43-11-73.
History. Original Rule entitled "Qualifications for Dental Hygienists" adopted. F. and eff. June 30, 1965.
Amended: F. Mar 26, 1969; eff. Apr. 15, 1969.
Amended: F. Oct. 13, 1970; eff. Nov. 2, 1970.
Amended: F. Sept. 24, 1979; eff. Oct. 14, 1979.
Amended: F. May 5, 1982; eff. May 25, 1982.
Amended: F. Sept. 27, 1988; eff. Oct. 17, 1988.
Amended: F. Feb. 2, 1993; eff. Feb. 22, 1993.
Amended: F. Dec. 28, 2000; eff. Jan. 17, 2001.
Amended: F. Jan. 10, 2002; eff. Jan. 30, 2002.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Jan. 28, 2005; eff. Feb. 17, 2005.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. May 20, 2005; eff. June 9, 2005.
Amended: F. Nov. 7, 2005; eff. Nov. 27, 2005.
Amended: F. July 18, 2006; eff. Aug. 7, 2006.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Jan. 23, 2009; eff. Feb. 12, 2009.
Amended: F. Oct. 7, 2014; eff. Oct. 27, 2014.

Rule 150-5-.03 Supervision of Dental Hygienists

(1) Any reference to a dental hygienist in this rule means a Georgia licensed dental hygienist.
(2) Direct supervision as it pertains to procedures delegated to a dental hygienist shall mean that a dentist licensed in Georgia is in the dental office or treatment facility, personally diagnoses the condition to be treated, personally authorizes the procedures and remains in the dental office or treatment facility while the procedures are being performed by the dental hygienist and, before dismissal of the patient, examines the patient.
(3) A dental hygienist shall perform his or her duties only under the direct supervision of a duly licensed dentist who is licensed to practice in the state of Georgia.
(a) The requirement of direct supervision shall not apply to the educational training of dental hygiene students at an institution approved by the Board and the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
(b) The requirement of direct supervision shall not apply to the performance of dental hygiene services at approved dental facilities of the Department of Public Health, county boards of health, or the Department of Corrections. A supervising dentist shall assume responsibility for authorizing services that may be performed by dental hygienists as defined in subsections (5)(a) through (g) of this rule, at such locations, either in person, through video conferencing or by written standing orders or Department of Public Health, county boards of health, or the Department of Corrections protocols.
(c) Approved dental facilities of the Department of Public Health, county boards of health and Department of Corrections shall submit to the Board of Dentistry for approval written protocol which identifies how duties are delegated to dental hygienists. Changes to such approved protocol must be resubmitted to the Board of Dentistry for review and approval.
(d) The requirement of direct supervision shall not apply to the performance of dental hygienists providing dental screenings in settings which include schools, hospitals, and clinics and state, county, local, and federal public health programs. Other health fair settings must be pre-approved by the board.
(4) No dentist shall supervise more practicing dental hygienists than he or she can safely and reasonably supervise in order to ensure that the health, safety, and welfare of patients are protected.
(5) In addition to routine duties and the procedures of any of the operations or procedures authorized in O.C.G.A. § 43-11-74, the following activities may be performed by a dental hygienist working under the direct supervision of a dentist:
(a) All the duties that are usually performed by a dental assistant pursuant to Title 43, Chapter 11, Article 4 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and Chapter 150-9 of the Rules of the Georgia Board of Dentistry, under the limitations and stipulations set forth in Title 43, Chapter 11, Article 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and Chapter 150-5 of the Rules of the Georgia Board of Dentistry.
(b) Take and mount oral x-rays;
(c) Apply medications and/or solutions approved by the Board and prescribed by the dentist that can be applied by methods approved by the Board, be that by irrigation, tray, or insertion of bioresorbable materials;
(d) Remove calcareous deposits, secretions, and stains from the surfaces of teeth. Ultrasonic technologies are authorized for use by dental hygienists;
(e) Utilize techniques and materials necessary for the application of sealant(s) to pits of and fissures of teeth;
(f) Perform root planing and curettage with hand instruments; and
(g) Perform periodontal probing.
(6) Nothing in these rules shall be construed as authorizing dental hygienists to utilize other techniques in the course of the performance of their duties, otherwise authorized by these rules. Only dentists licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry shall be authorized to perform procedures involving laser technology which alterst issue, creates thermal effect, or is intended to cut, coagulate, photocoagulate, vaporize, or ablate essentially any soft or hard tissues of the body. Additionally only dentists licensed by the Board shall be authorized to perform procedures utilizing air abrasive technology, which is normally intended for cavity preparation or enamel removal. This is to be distinguished from "micro etching" and "air polishing" technologies which are intended for stain removal and roughening the surfaces of enamel to enhance bonding, similar to acid etching, (i.e., Micro etching and air polishing are technologies authorized for use by dental hygienists).

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 150-5-.03
Authority: O.C.G.A. Secs. 43-11-7, 43-11-8, 43-11-9, 43-11-74.
History. Original Rule entitled "Supervision of Dental Hygienists" adopted. F. and eff. June 30, 1965.
Repealed: New Rule of the same title adopted. F. June 26, 1973; eff. July 16, 1973.
Amended: F. May 5, 1982; eff. May 25, 1982.
Amended: F. July 2, 1985; eff. July 22, 1985.
Amended: F. Sept. 15, 1993; eff. Oct. 5, 1993.
Amended: F. Nov. 7, 1994; eff. Nov. 27, 1994.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Feb. 1, 1999; eff. Feb. 21, 1999.
Amended: F. Jan. 10, 2002; eff. Jan. 30, 2002.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Jan. 31, 2003; eff. Feb. 20, 2003.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. July 28, 2003; eff. Aug. 17, 2003.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Sept. 14, 2005; eff. Oct. 4, 2005.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Jan. 25, 2007; eff. Feb. 14, 2007.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Mar. 27, 2012; eff. Apr. 16, 2012.

Rule 150-5-.04 CPR Requirements for Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists shall maintain at all times during licensure and furnish to the Board, upon request, current certification in one and two rescuer CPR and management of obstructed airway for adults, children and infants as taught by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the American Safety and Health Institute, the National Safety Council, EMS Safety Services, or other such agencies approved by the Board. Current certification is a condition for license renewal. Failure to maintain current CPR certification may serve as grounds to deny the renewal of a license and may also result in disciplinary action against the licensee. In response to an audit request, a dental hygienist shall be required to produce proof of CPR certification during the biennium for which the audit is being conducted.

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 150-5-.04
Authority: O.C.G.A §§ 43-11-7, 43-11-9, 43-11-73, 43-11-73.1.
History. Original Rule entitled "Renewals" adopted. F. Aug. 11, 1975; eff. Aug. 31, 1975.
Repealed: F. May 5, 1982; eff. May 25, 1982.
Amended: New Rule entitled "CPR Requirements for Dental Hygienists" adopted. F. Sept. 27, 1988; eff. Oct. 17, 1988.
Amended: F. Oct. 25, 1989; eff. Nov. 14, 1989.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Feb. 1, 1999; eff. Feb. 21, 1999.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. July 22, 1999; eff. Aug. 11, 1999.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Feb. 15, 2001; eff. Mar. 7, 2001.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Jan. 13, 2004; eff. Feb. 2, 2004.
Amended: F. Oct. 15, 2013; eff. Nov. 4, 2013.
Amended: F. Sep. 3, 2014; eff. Sep. 23, 2014.

Rule 150-5-.05 Requirements for Continuing Education for Dental Hygienists

(1) Dental hygienists licensed to practice in the state of Georgia shall maintain and furnish to the Board, upon request, official documentation of having completed a minimum of twenty-two (22) hours of continuing education during each biennium. Official documentation shall be defined as documentation from an approved provider that verifies a licensee's attendance at a particular continuing education course. Official documentation of course attendance must be maintained by a dental hygienist for at least three (3) years following the end of the biennium during which the course was taken.
(a) Compliance with all continuing education requirements is a condition for license renewal. Failure to complete all hours of mandatory continuing education shall serve as grounds to deny the renewal of a license and may also result in disciplinary action being taken against a licensee.
(b) Upon its own motion, the Board may at any time randomly select a percentage of actively licensed dental hygienists for the purpose of auditing their compliance with the continuing education requirements of the Board. Those licensees selected for an audit shall submit official documentation of their compliance within thirty (30) days of receipt of the audit letter. Failure to respond to an audit request in a timely manner shall be grounds for disciplinary action against a licensee.
(c) The continuing education requirements shall apply within the first biennium that a dental hygienist is licensed in Georgia. However, in order to meet the continuing education requirements during the first biennium, a newly licensed dental hygienist may submit as their continuing education hours proof of dental hygiene coursework taken within the previous two (2) years of the date of the renewal application from a university or other institution accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Following the first biennium that a dental hygienist is licensed in Georgia such licensees shall comply with the continuing education requirements set forth in Rule 150-5-.05(2) and (3) .
(d) The continuing education requirements shall not apply to dental hygienists who are on inactive status.
(e) The continuing education requirements for dental hygienists holding volunteer licenses may be satisfied by compliance with this rule, or they may alternatively be satisfied by compliance with Rule 150-3-.10 .
(2) Coursework, including home study courses, sponsored or approved by any organization recognized under Rule 150-3-.09(2) will be accepted.
(3) Course content:
(a) All courses must reflect the professional needs of the hygienist providing quality dental health care to the public;
(b) At least fifteen (15) hours of the minimum requirement must be scientific courses in the actual delivery of dental services to the patient or to the community;
(c) Four (4) credit hours for successful completion of the CPR course required by Georgia law offered by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the American Safety and Health Institute, the National Safety Council, EMS Safety Services, or other such agencies approved by the Board may be used to satisfy continuing education requirements per renewal period.
(d) Up to eight (8) hours of continuing education per year may be obtained by assisting the Board with administering the clinical licensing examination or by assisting the Board with investigations of licensees. These hours shall be approved by the Continuing Education Committee of the Georgia Board of Dentistry and need not be sponsored by any agency or organization listed in 150-3-.09 (2).
(e) Up to five (5) hours of continuing education per biennium may be obtained by teaching dental hygiene at any ADA-approved educational facility. These hours shall be awarded, in writing, by the course director at the facility and approved by the Continuing Education Committee of the Georgia Board of Dentistry.
(f) Up to five (5) hours of continuing education per biennium may be obtained by providing, uncompensated dental hygiene care at a public agency or institution, not for profit agency, not for profit institution, nonprofit corporation or not for profit association which provides dental hygiene services to indigent patients.
(g) Up to ten (10) hours of continuing education per biennium may be obtained by members of the Georgia Board of Dentistry for member service, where one continuing education hour is credited for each five hours of Board service provided.
(4) Criteria for receiving credit for attending an approved continuing education course:
(a) Credit hours are not retroactive or cumulative. All credit hours must be received during the two (2) year period to which they are applied; and
(b) One credit hour for each hour of course attendance will be allowed;
(c) Only twelve hours of credit will be accepted per calendar day;
(d) Effective January 1, 2008, at least eleven (11) of the required twenty-two (22) hours of credit must be acquired in person at an on-site course or seminar; you are not allowed to acquire all CE hours through on-line courses, electronic means, journal studies, etc.
(5) Criteria for receiving credit for teaching an approved continuing education course:
(a) Credit hours for teaching an approved course must be obtained and used during the biennium that the approved course is taught;
(b) A dental hygienist that teaches an approved continuing education course is eligible to receive two (2) credit hours for each hour of coursework that he or she presents at a particular course.

Credit will be given for teaching a particular course on one occasion only. A maximum of five (5) credit hours per biennium may be obtained by a dental hygienist by whom an approved continuing education course is taught;

(c) Only continuing education course designated in Rule 150-5.05(2) as being sponsored or approved by recognized organizations will be considered for credit pursuant to this subsection of the rule. Courses taught by a dental hygienist prior to or a part of the process of obtaining his or her R.D.H. shall not be eligible for consideration pursuant to this provision of the rule;
(d) In the event that an audit is conducted of the continuing education hours of a dental hygienist who has taught a course approved by a recognized organization, the following shall be required to document the dental hygienists role in presenting a continuing education course:
1. Documentation from an approved provider verifying that the dental hygienist presented an approved continuing education course;
2. Documentation from an approved provider reflecting the content of the course;
3. Documentation from an approved provider specifying the list of materials used as part of the course; and
4. Documentation from an approved provider verifying the hours earned and the dates and times that the course in question was given.
(e) In the event that an approved continuing education course is taught by more than one dental hygienist, continuing education credit will be given for those portions of course work in which the dental hygienist is directly involved and primarily responsible for the preparation and presentation thereof. Continuing education credit will not be available to a dental hygienist whose participation in preparing and presenting an approved course is not readily identifiable.
(6) Criteria for receiving credit for providing uncompensated indigent dental hygiene care.
(a) Up to five (5) hours of continuing education per biennium may be obtained by providing uncompensated dental hygiene care at a public agency or institution, not for profit agency, not for profit institution, nonprofit corporation or not for profit association which provides dental hygiene services to indigent patients.
(b) Dental hygienists may receive one hour of continuing education for every four hours of indigent dental hygiene care the dental hygienist provides, up to five (5) hours. Such continuing education credits will be applied toward the dental hygienist's clinical courses.
(c) All credit hours must be received during the two (2) year renewal period;
(d) Dental hygienists shall at all times be required to meet the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing practice in Georgia;
(e) The Board shall have the right to request the following:
1. Documentation from the organization indicating that the dental hygienist provided the services;
2. Documentation from the organization that it provided medical and/or dental hygiene services to the indigent and/or those making up the underserved populations;
3. Notarized verifications from the organization documenting the dental hygienist agreement not to receive compensation for the services provided;
4. Documentation from the organization detailing the actual number of hours spent providing said services; and
5. Documentation from the dental hygienist and/or organization verifying the services provided.

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 150-5-.05
Authority: O.C.G.A. §§ 43-11-7, 43-11-9, 43-11-73.
History. Original Rule entitled "Requirements for Continuing Education for Dental Hygienists" adopted. F. Mar. 4, 1992; eff. Mar. 24, 1992.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Feb. 1, 1999; eff. Feb. 21, 1999.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. July 22, 1999; eff. Aug. 11, 1999.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. July 28, 2003; eff. Aug. 17, 2003.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Jan. 13, 2004; eff. Feb. 2, 2004.
Amended: F. Mar. 15, 2004; eff. Apr. 4, 2004.
Amended: F. Sept. 10, 2007; eff. Sept. 30, 2007.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. July 29, 2009; eff. Aug. 18, 2009.
Amended: F. Jan. 21, 2014; eff. Feb. 10, 2014.
Amended: F. Sep. 3, 2014; eff. Sep. 23, 2014.
Amended: F. Feb. 5, 2016; eff. Feb. 25, 2016.

Rule 150-5-.06 Temporary Permits for Dental Hygienists

(1) An applicant applying for a temporary permit must be currently licensed to practice as a dental hygienist in another state and meet the conditions as specified in O.C.G.A. §§ 43-11-70 and 43-11-71.
(2) An application to take the required examination must have been completed and on file before the Board will consider an application for a temporary permit.
(3) A person requesting a temporary permit must submit proof of current CPR certification in one and two rescuer and the management of obstructed airway for infant, child and adult.
(4) It shall be the responsibility of the dental hygienist to inform the Board of the name of the dentist/employer where he/she will be practicing.
(5) A temporary permit shall be valid from the date of issuance until the results of the first examination scheduled for the applicant are released.
(6) If applicant fails the examination or fails to appear at the examination, the temporary permit shall automatically stand revoked, without a requirement of prior notice of such revocation.
(7) No temporary permit will be issued to an applicant who has previously failed the examination.
(8) No temporary permit shall be issued more than one time.
(9) A temporary permit shall be posted and displayed in the place in which the dental hygienist is employed.
(10) All fees are due at the time of making application. Fees are as shown in the schedule of fees adopted by the Board of Dentistry. Fees are not refundable.

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 150-5-.06
Authority: O.C.G.A. Secs. 43-11-7 to 43-11-9, 43-11-70, 43-11-70.1, 43-11-71, 43-11-73.
History. Original Rule entitled "Temporary Permits for Dental Hygienists" adopted. F. Sept. 2, 1992; eff. Sept. 22, 1992.
Amended: F. Sept. 15, 1993; eff. Oct. 5, 1993.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Jan. 31, 2003; eff. Feb. 20, 2003.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Sept. 18, 2006; eff. Oct. 8, 2006.