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Can a Florida Licensed Dental Hygienist Administer Anesthesia to Patients Without Supervision?

Jones Health Law > Blog  > Can a Florida Licensed Dental Hygienist Administer Anesthesia to Patients Without Supervision?

Can a Florida Licensed Dental Hygienist Administer Anesthesia to Patients Without Supervision?

According to Florida Statute 466.023(1), Only dental hygienists may be delegated the task of removing calculus deposits, accretions, and stains from exposed surfaces of the teeth and from the gingival sulcus and the task of performing root planing and curettage. In addition, dental hygienists may expose dental X-ray films, apply topical preventive or prophylactic agents, and perform all tasks delegable by the dentist in accordance with s. 466.024. The board by rule shall determine whether such functions shall be performed under the direct, indirect, or general supervision of the dentist.
 
Section (3) of the aforementioned Florida Statute, states that dental hygienists may, without supervision, provide educational programs, faculty or staff training programs, and authorized fluoride rinse programs; apply fluorides; instruct a patient in oral hygiene care; supervise the oral hygiene care of a patient; and perform other services that do not involve diagnosis or treatment of dental conditions and that are approved by rule of the board.
 
Section (5) of the aforementioned Florida Statute, states that Dental hygienists may, without supervision, perform dental charting as provided in s. 466.0235.
 
Section (5) of the aforementioned Florida Statute, states thatA dental hygienist may administer local anesthesia as provided in ss. 466.017 and 466.024.
 
Florida Statute 466.017(4) states that A dentist or dental hygienist who administers or employs the use of any form of anesthesia must possess a certification in either basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation for health professionals or advanced cardiac life support approved by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross or an equivalent agency-sponsored course with recertification every 2 years. Each dental office which uses any form of anesthesia must have immediately available and in good working order such resuscitative equipment, oxygen, and other resuscitative drugs as are specified by rule of the board in order to manage possible adverse reactions.
 
Florida Statute 466.017(5) states that a dental hygienist under the direct supervision of a dentist may administer local anesthesia, including intraoral block anesthesia, soft tissue infiltration anesthesia, or both, to a non-sedated patient who is 18 years of age or older, if the following criteria are met:
(a) The dental hygienist has successfully completed a course in the administration of local anesthesia which is offered by a dental or dental hygiene program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or approved by the board. The course must include a minimum of 30 hours of didactic instruction and 30 hours of clinical experience, and instruction in:
1. Theory of pain control.
2. Selection-of-pain-control modalities.
3. Anatomy.
4. Neurophysiology.
5. Pharmacology of local anesthetics.
6. Pharmacology of vasoconstrictors.
7. Psychological aspects of pain control.
8. Systematic complications.
9. Techniques of maxillary anesthesia.
10. Techniques of mandibular anesthesia.
11. Infection control.
12. Medical emergencies involving local anesthesia.
(b) The dental hygienist presents evidence of current certification in basic or advanced cardiac life support.
(c) The dental hygienist possesses a valid certificate issued under subsection (6).
 
According to Florida Statute 466.003(1)(8) “Direct supervision” means supervision whereby a dentist diagnoses the condition to be treated, a dentist authorizes the procedure to be performed, a dentist remains on the premises while the procedures are performed, and a dentist approves the work performed before dismissal of the patient.
According to Florida Statute 466.024(1)(l) A dentist may delegate remediable tasks to a dental hygienist or dental assistant when such tasks pose no risk to the patient. A dentist may only delegate remediable tasks so defined by law or rule of the board. The board by rule shall designate which tasks are remediable and delegable, except that administering local anesthesia pursuant to s. 466.017(5) is  by law found to be remediable and delegable.
Jamaal R. Jones, Esq.
Jamaal Jones

jrj@joneshealthlaw.com

This post was authored by Jamaal R. Jones, Esquire (Partner) of Jones Health Law, P.A. where we provide "On-Call Legal Services to Healthcare Professionals". For more information contact us at (305) 877-5054; email us at JRJ@JonesHealthLaw.com, or visit our website at www.JonesHealthLaw.com

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