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Texas Laser Use Requires CE for Dentists and Hygienists

TSDBE Amendment Voted June 2015 Requires CE


In May, we posted the article Lasers and Dental Hygiene: The State of the Issue in Texas concerning the permitted duties of dental hygienists as it relates to laser use. An amendment to Texas State Board of Dental Examiners TSBDE Rule § 115.2 was adopted on June 23, 2015 and this article provides a summary of the amendments now in place. This new rule may have a far-reaching impact on the ways that dental practice acts are structured around the country and ALD will share any new information.

  1. Dental hygienists may use lasers within their scope of practice of dental hygiene under the direct supervision of a dentist. Accordingly, dental hygienists may not perform any procedure that is irreversible or involves the intentional cutting of soft or hard tissue. A hygienist’s use of lasers must be in accordance with the minimum standard of care and limited to the hygienist’s scope of practice.
  2. Prior to using a laser for non-diagnostic purposes, dental hygienists must complete no less than twelve hours of in-person continuing education in laser utilization specific to the procedures to be performed by the dental hygienist using the laser. Three of the twelve required hours must include clinical simulation laser training. The continuing education must be provided by an educational course provider recognized by the Board. Although they are not required to submit proof of continuing education to the TSBDE, they must keep an adequate documentation of the continuing education credits. For instance, a hygienist may use a laser as an adjunctive treatment to scaling and root planing but the hygienist must first obtain continuing education specific to that treatment

Please read the complete TSBDE ruling in order to be fully compliant with the new ruling.

The ruling by the TSBDE supports the Academy of Laser Dentistry Position Statement on the Use of Lasers by Licensed Dental Professionals adopted in January 2003.

ALD is ready to assist our members and any state regulators in the role of scientifically relevant evidence based dental laser education for their constituency.

By Gail Siminovsky CAE
[ ALD Executive Director ]