Dental Regulations in the United States
The Academy stands ready to assist all dentists, hygienists, regulatory boards or agencies by educating their members in the effective and safe use of dental lasers. We are available to assist you on an informational basis in developing a policy for laser use if any state board has that need or desire. We are available to answer questions you may have and provide you with additional information.
The Academy of Laser Dentistry would like to help ensure both the preservation of public safety and the freedom of clinical judgment by practitioners. We believe scope of practice parameters should be defined within the law, rules and guidelines set forth in each state's dental practice act. We therefore make the following recommendations regarding safe and effective laser usage:
The ALD supports the use of lasers in dentistry when used by a properly trained and licensed dental professional where the procedure is safe, effective, and consistent with his/her education and experience, and within the scope of his/her licensure. If such procedures are permitted under the existing dental practice act, we feel the provider of dental services (dentist, hygienist or dental assistant) should be able to choose any device suitable to perform that procedure, laser or otherwise - if that device is safe and effective, and if the use of that device is consistent with the provider's education, training and experience. Lastly, the ALD recommends that practitioners wishing to use a laser complete, at minimum, a Category II Standard Proficiency level certification course as described in the Curriculum Guidelines and Standards for Dental Laser Education.
In brief this includes a minimum of 12 hours of specific educational activity which should include hands on training on the specific device the practitioner intends to use and a measured outcome learning verification exercise.
The full position statement is available on the ALD website:
The following links provide easy access to each State's
Board of Dentistry and Dental Scope of Practice Act.
Look for R4-11-601H.1 look for section H. emerging technologies
Look for 33.215. Use of lasers in the dental office—statement of policy.