Module 5: Operating Effective Programs
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Please Note: This curriculum was developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and may not reflect current guidance for materials, procedures, and infection control.

Image of girl in chair

5.3 Regulatory Compliance

The dental board in each state regulates the practice of dentistry within that state, ensuring compliance with its state dental practice act. When designing a school-based dental sealant program, it is important to know about requirements specified in the state’s dental practice act and rules and regulations. The following questions and their responses can help organizers decide how to best design a program that will comply with their state’s laws:

  • Is a dentist required to screen or examine patients before a dental hygienist or assistant can provide preventive oral health services?
  • Can dental hygienists place dental sealants in public health settings following a dental sealant protocol or standing orders, or is a dentist’s treatment plan required for each patient?
  • Can a dental hygienist, expanded function dental assistant, or dental assistant provide dental sealants without a dentist being physically present?

See also: Regulatory Compliance, in Maryland Mighty Tooth.

Information on Ohio’s dental practice act is available from the Ohio State Dental Board. Details of sealant program operations based on the dental practice act are included in the School-Based Dental Sealant Program Manual.

In Ohio, dental hygienists may determine which teeth to seal and place sealants without a dentist present. In addition to identifying allowable duties for oral health staff in sealant programs, state dental board regulations and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations specify infection-control procedures. For more information on infection control, see module 2.