Dental Regulations in the United States

The Academy stands ready to assist dentists, hygienists, regulatory boards and 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.

It is always the clinicians’ license and responsibility to determine if they are permitted to use lasers within the scope of practice act of their state policies. The Academy of Laser Dentistry recommendation is to always refer to the public information of each state’s regulations. State regulations may change. 


Academy of Laser Dentistry Recommendation

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, 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, an ALD Dental Laser Standard Certification. 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. Why Certify? Why does it matter? What makes the ALD Standard Level Certification Course – A Certificate Program a robust program?


The American Association of Dental Boards conducted a 2018 tele-seminar podcast for state regulators to provide information on dental laser use.  Here is a white paper from that podcast that is still relevant today: AADB Q&A Transcript on Laser Use for Regulators


Contact ALD with any concerns and questions by email. We will gladly collaborate with any State Board and offer assistance and education as policy-makers determine policy for the safety of their constituents.