DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
[Filed November 3, 2020, 8:57 a.m.]
This memo serves as notice that the department of health (department) is withdrawing the policy statement for dental hygiene temporary practice permit - scope of practice limitations during the COVID-19 response. The policy statement was filed on July 30, 2020, and published as WSR 20-16-090.
The department filed a policy statement to limit the scope of practice for dental hygienists who hold a temporary practice permit in support of Governor's Proclamation 20-59. Dental hygienists working under a temporary practice permit are not allowed to administer local anesthesia, or to perform restorative duties including, but not limited to, placing restorations into the cavity, and carving, contouring, and adjusting contacts and occlusion of restorations. These duties are prohibited until dental hygienists complete all licensing requirements and [are] issued a nontemporary credential.
The policy statement incorrectly addresses the practice of administering local anesthetic for dental hygienists working under a temporary practice permit. Administering topical local anesthesia is permitted, but current language suggests administering local anesthetic of any kind is prohibited. This inconsistency creates confusion for dental hygienists working with a temporary practice permit. The department has decided to withdraw the current policy statement and to file a new policy statement to clarify the local anesthesia restriction. The new policy statement clarifies that dental hygienists are not allowed to give injections of local anesthesia. Specifying "injection" allows dental hygienists to administer topical local anesthesia.
Individuals requiring information on this policy statement should contact Bruce Bronoske Jr., dental hygiene examining committee program manager, at 360-236-4843.