In 2014, the Indiana General Assembly approved legislation that allows, under certain circumstances, dental hygienists to practice under “prescriptive supervision.” In contrast to direct supervision, prescriptive supervision means that the dentists not required to be present while hygiene services are being provided. This legislation was amended in 2015 and 2020.
A dental hygienist is allowed to practice under prescriptive supervision in the following circumstances:
- The hygienist may practice under prescriptive supervision in a dental office if the patient has a current medical history on file and has received a comprehensive oral examination by a dentist in the past seven months.
- The hygienist may practice under prescriptive supervision in a setting where a written prescription for care has been issued by the dentist within the previous 90 days.
- The dental hygienist must have completed at least two years of active practice as a dental hygienist under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. The hygienist must have worked a minimum of at least 20 hours per week during those two years.
- The patient must be informed that the dentist will not be present during the hygiene services.
Other stipulations of prescriptive supervision include:
- A dental hygienist may not use a laser to cut hard or soft tissue in providing treatment to a patient.
- If a dental hygienist practices under the prescriptive supervision of a licensed dentist, the dentist’s written authority must be recorded, signed and dated in the patient’s records.
Further information about prescriptive supervision can be found by reviewing IC-25-13-1.