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(1) Allowable functions for the dental hygienist practicing under the supervision of a licensed dentist shall include dental procedures as allowed by Title 37, chapter 4, MCA, and board rule, and subject to (2) below, in which:

(a) the hygienist was instructed and qualified to perform in a school of dental hygiene accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or its successor; or

(b) the hygienist was instructed and trained by a licensed dentist; or

(c) the hygienist was instructed and trained in a board acceptable continuing education course; or

(d) the hygienist is functioning in the capacity of a dental auxiliary as allowed by board rule.

(2) A dental hygienist will be allowed to perform the following dental auxiliary functions, under general supervision, including, but not limited to:

(a) making radiographic exposures, as prescribed by the supervising dentist;

(b) taking impressions for study or working casts;

(c) removing sutures and dressings;

(d) applying topical anesthetic agents;

(e) providing oral health instruction;

(f) applying topical fluoride agents;

(g) removing excess cement from coronal surfaces;

(h) placing and removing rubber dams;

(i) placing and removing matrices;

(j) collecting patient data;

(k) polishing amalgam restorations;

(l) placing pit and fissure sealants; and

(m) coronal polishing.

(3) A dental hygienist shall not be allowed to perform the following:

(a) diagnosis and treatment planning as per 37-4-401, MCA;

(b) cutting hard or soft tissue (except root planing and soft tissue curettage) or extracting teeth;

(c) prescribing any drug except fluoride agents, topical oral anesthetic agents, and nonsystemic oral antimicrobials, under the general supervision of a licensed dentist or under public health supervision with a limited access permit, as per 37-4-401, MCA;

(d) administering or dispensing any drugs, without the prior authorization and direct supervision of the supervising dentist. This does not pertain to local anesthetic agents administered by a licensed dental hygienist qualified to administer the agents, topical agents, fluoride agents, topical oral anesthetic agents, nonsystemic oral antimicrobials, or sulcular medicaments;

(e) placing, carving or condensing any permanent restorations;

(f) taking final impressions of the involved arch for crowns, bridges, implant prosthesis, partial or complete dentures;

(g) bonding or cementing orthodontic brackets, or orthodontic appliances that would provide activation upon cementation;

(h) bonding or cementing any fixed prosthesis, including veneers, except for provisional.

(4) Dentists shall refrain from delegating to dental hygienists any duties or responsibilities regarding patient care that cannot be delegated to dental hygienists under 37-4-401, MCA, and board rules.

(5) The assignment of tasks and procedures to a dental hygienist shall not relieve the dentist from liability for all treatment rendered the patient.

(6) A dentist shall not employ, supervise or otherwise use more dental hygienists than the dentist can reasonably supervise in keeping with the dentist's ethical and professional responsibilities.

(7) It shall be the responsibility of the employing dentist to verify that a dental hygienist's qualifications are in compliance with the statutes and rules of the Board of Dentistry.

(8) A dentist licensed to use or direct the use of an x-ray producing device must assure that the radiation source under the dentist's jurisdiction is used only by individuals competent to use it, as per ARM 37.14.1003.


History: 37-1-131, 37-4-205, 37-4-401, 37-4-408, MCA; IMP, 37-1-131, 37-4-401, 37-4-405, 37-4-408, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, Eff. 7/5/76; AMD, Eff. 9/23/77; AMD, 1978 MAR p. 1182, Eff. 8/11/78; AMD, 1979 MAR p. 1497, Eff. 11/30/79; AMD, 1980 MAR p. 1188, Eff. 4/11/80; AMD, 1981 MAR p. 686, Eff. 7/17/81; TRANS, from Dept. of Prof. & Occup. Lic., Ch. 274, L. 1981, Eff. 7/1/81; AMD, 1984 MAR p. 921, Eff. 6/15/84; AMD, 1985 MAR p. 1323, Eff. 9/13/85; AMD, 1987 MAR p. 155, Eff. 2/14/87; AMD, 1989 MAR p. 2179, Eff. 12/22/89; AMD, 1991 MAR p. 2415, Eff. 12/13/91; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 1120, Eff. 4/29/94; AMD, 1995 MAR p. 2795, Eff. 11/23/95; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 3118, Eff. 12/6/96; TRANS, from Commerce, 2003 MAR p. 2435; AMD, 2018 MAR p. 1279, Eff. 7/7/18.

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