• (a) A duly licensed and registered dentist may employ licensed and registered dental hygienists, registered dental assistants and practical dental assistants. Such licensed and registered dental hygienists may practice as authorized in this section or § 63-5-108 only in the office of and under the direct and/or general supervision of a licensed and registered dentist, in authorized public health programs or at other locations otherwise authorized by this chapter. Such registered and/or practical dental assistants may practice as authorized in this section or § 63-5-108 only in the office of and under the direct supervision of a licensed and registered dentist except in authorized public health programs. No provisions in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing any licensed and registered dental hygienists, registered dental assistants or practical dental assistants to practice as such except as provided in this section.

  • Terms Used In Tennessee Code 63-5-115

    • direct supervision: means the continuous presence of a supervising dentist within the physical confines of the dental office when licensed and registered dental hygienists or registered dental assistants perform lawfully assigned duties and functions. See Tennessee Code 63-5-115
    • signed: includes a mark, the name being written near the mark and witnessed, or any other symbol or methodology executed or adopted by a party with intention to authenticate a writing or record, regardless of being witnessed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
    • written: includes printing, typewriting, engraving, lithography, and any other mode of representing words and letters. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

    (b) Definitions.

    • (1) Direct Supervision. As used in this chapter regarding supervision of licensed and registered dental hygienists or registered dental assistants, “direct supervision” means the continuous presence of a supervising dentist within the physical confines of the dental office when licensed and registered dental hygienists or registered dental assistants perform lawfully assigned duties and functions;

    • (2) General Supervision. As used in this chapter, “general supervision” is defined as those instances when the dentist is not present in the dental office or treatment facility while procedures are being performed by the dental hygienist, but the dentist has personally diagnosed the condition to be treated, has personally authorized the procedures being performed and will evaluate the performance of the dental hygienist.

  • (c) Licensed and registered dental hygienists and registered dental assistants are specifically permitted to participate unsupervised in educational functions involving organized groups or health care institutions regarding preventive oral health care. Dental hygienists are permitted to participate in health screenings and similar activities; provided, that no remuneration is given by the organized group to any hygienist or the hygienist’s employer for participating in these activities.

  • (d)

    • (1) Settings in which licensed and registered hygienists may engage in the provision of preventive dental care under the general supervision of a dentist through written protocol include nursing homes, skilled care facilities, nonprofit clinics and public health programs. Dental hygienists licensed and registered pursuant to this chapter are specifically permitted to render such preventive services as authorized in § 63-5-108 or by regulation of the board, as prescribed by the supervising dentist under a written protocol. Dental hygienists rendering such services shall be under the general supervision of a licensed dentist as specified in a written protocol between the supervising dentist and the hygienist which must be submitted in advance to the board. No dentist may enter into a written protocol with more than three (3) dental hygienists at any one time nor may any hygienist be engaged in a written protocol with more than three (3) dentists at any one time. The supervising dentist must process all patient billings. Each written protocol will be valid for a period of two (2) years at which time it must be renewed through resubmission to the board. Should a dentist cease to be the employer/supervisor of a dental hygienist where a written protocol is in force and on file with the board, the dentist must notify the board within ten (10) working days by certified mail, return receipt requested or electronic mail that the written protocol is no longer in force.

    • (2) Licensed and registered dental hygienists working under written protocol, in addition to those requirements enumerated under the general supervision as authorized by § 63-5-108(c)(5), must have actively practiced as a licensed dental hygienist for at least five (5) years and have practiced two thousand (2,000) hours in the preceding five (5) years or taught dental hygiene courses for two (2) of the proceeding three (3) years in a dental hygiene program accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation and completed six (6) hours of public health continuing education within the past two (2) years; provided, that, after satisfying the requirement of this subsection (d), in subsequent years the hygienist may work on a part-time basis.

    • (3) Each written protocol, required for off-site practice under general supervision, shall be submitted to the board by certified mail, return receipt requested and shall include at a minimum:

      • (A) The name, address, telephone number and license number of the employer (supervising) dentist;

      • (B) The name, address, telephone number and license number of the dental hygienist;

      • (C) The name, address, telephone number and other pertinent identification from all locations where the dental hygiene services are to be performed; and

      • (D) A statement signed by the dentist that the dentist and the dental hygienist that meets all minimum standards for general supervision as well as those required for practice under a written protocol as stipulated in this section and § 63-5-108.

    • (4) The board will receive each written protocol submitted and keep those on file which meet the minimum requirements enumerated in subdivision (d)(3). Those received by the board and determined not to be complete shall be returned to the submitting dentist within thirty (30) days of receipt with a request for the additional information required. The dentist may then resubmit an amended written protocol to the board.

  • (e) Teledentistry shall not alter or amend the supervision requirements or procedures authorized for licensed and registered dental hygienists or registered dental assistants. Any licensed and registered dental hygienist who, under the supervision of a dentist, assists the dentist in providing dental health services or care using teledentistry is only authorized to perform those services that the dental hygienist is authorized to perform during an in-person patient encounter under general supervision. Services provided by registered dental hygienists through teledentistry should be provided under written protocol in accordance with subsection (d).