Kan. lawmakers support expanding dental hygienists' duties

The Kansas House of Representatives has passed a bill that would let specially trained dental hygienists place temporary fillings, pull some teeth, and perform other basic dental services.

HB 2631, which would create a new class of "Level III" hygienists who would receive more training than regular hygienists, passed by a vote of 120-0, according to a story in the Wichita Eagle.

In addition to the cleaning and decay prevention functions now performed by hygienists, a Level III hygienist would be allowed to:

  • Identify and remove decay and place a temporary filling
  • Adjust dentures and check for sore spots
  • Extract loose baby teeth
  • Smooth sharp edges on teeth with power drills
  • Use local dental anesthesia within limits

Level III hygienists would be allowed to work with prisons, indigent health care clinics, low-income seniors, and the developmentally disabled, the Wichita Eagle reported. They could also serve children in state custody, foster children, and other children who meet the legal definition of dentally underserved.

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