State Board of Dentistry Report – May 14, 2021

Report of Board Counsel

Ms. Wucinski and Ms. Walter updated the board on the status of regulation. Several regulatory changes discussed were combined into one package of general regulatory revisions. Several board members recommended changes to the preamble of the regulatory package, in particular regarding the requirement of a clinical exam for EFDAs. Ms. Wucinski recommended sending any changes to the preamble directly to her via email.

Board counsel summarized draft legislation of interest. House Resolution 68 would require the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study of dental services in underserved areas. Senate Bill 554 would require regulatory boards to adhere to a publicized agenda. House Bill 1094 would require the SBOD to revoke the license of an individual who knowingly hires an unauthorized alien.

The SBOD discussed House Bill 1176 at greater length. This bill, along with its companion bill in the Senate, would require all healthcare related licensing boards to promulgate regulations requiring licensees to take training for implicit bias recognition and cultural competence. This requirement has already been implemented for attorneys in New Jersey. The board noted that if these bills do pass, they may need to consider increasing the total number of required education hours for licensure, as they do not want non-clinical courses to dilute from clinical practice education.

Committee Reports

The board discussed home sleep apnea testing. Many on the board felt that the administration of home sleep apnea testing was outside of a dentist’s scope of practice but could be within the scope if additional training on the subject was attained. There would be reservations about some descriptions and definitions of home sleep apnea testing. It is a complicated treatment area and would require collaboration with a physician. The board noted that this opinion was for information purposes only and could be better defined and addressed in statute. It will be referred to the Scope of Practice Committee for further discussion.

The Scope of Practice Committee met that morning. The committee determined that use of lasers or nitrous oxide is outside of the scope of hygienists, and any protocols for utilize nitrous would be attached to the permit holder. The committee determined that administration of vaccines is inside a dentist’s scope while under the current emergency order provided needed delegation is met, but outside the scope after the expiration of the emergency order. Any changes to this would require legislative action. The board would like the committee to address whitening and Botox on future agendas.

The board recognized and congratulated administrator Lisa Burns, who has served the SBOD for over 20 years. Ms. Burns has been promoted and will still work with healthcare related boards. Someone else will be assuming her role as Board Administrator.

The next meeting will be July 16, 2021. Some board members inquired if live meetings will be held soon as schedules would need to be arranged for travel.