With renewal season upon us and the issues with the USPS and delays in mail please ensure your email address is up to date for online renewal.
License renewal cycle and fees:
Dental Hygienist $42.00
Dental Hygiene Local Anesthesia permit $42.00
Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioner Permit $42.00
Submitted by: Stacey R. MacNeal, Esquire
To: PDHA Fall 2004 Journal
PDHA Legal Counsel
In the winter 2002 Journal, I wrote an article about state regulations pertaining to dental hygienists. One of those regulations is to complete a minimum of twenty hours of continuing education every two years. When you apply for your license renewal, you will be asked to certify that you have completed those credits. The State Board of Dentistry (SBOD) will then conduct audits to verify those credits.
First, you may recall that one of the pitfalls previously mentioned that can result in a license suspension or revocation is filing a false or deceptive biennial renewal. Therefore, if you know that you have not completed your 20 credits, you should not certify that you have. A false certification is fraud. However, the SBOD has been very willing to consider extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis. If you have made a good faith effort to fulfill your credits, I recommend contacting the SBOD in writing to explain your situation and request an extension of time for completion of the required credits.
Additionally, the 20 CE credits must be taken in approved subject areas. Those areas are diagnosis and treatment of oral pathosis; clinical and technological subjects; emergency procedures, excluding hours required for CPR certification; infection control; abuse and neglect; medical and scientific subjects; and dental laws and regulations. Nonclinical subjects including billing, office management, practice building, insurance reimbursement, and communication skills are not covered. Also, the CE credits must be taken from an approved program sponsor such as the Pennsylvania Academy of Dental Hygiene Studies. While it is easy to verify whether a sponsor is approved, it is not possible to verify whether the CE is for an approved subject area prior to an audit. Do not assume that a course is in an approved subject area simply because it is being offered by an approved program sponsor. If you have any questions regarding whether a course falls under one of the approved clinical and technological subjects, do not rely on those credits to meet your twenty-credit minimum.
Remember that the continuing education requirement is your personal responsibility as a dental hygienist. While taking courses can be expensive and tracking the information burdensome, your professional license depends on it!
Licensure Q & A
Below is the answer from Rebecca from the PDA:
"The PA State Board of Dentistry does consider live, interactive online CE as in-person learning.
A recording of a lecture made available online would be an example of a self-study CE course. The waiver that allowed you to earn all of your credits through self-study ended on April 1, 2021. For the licensure cycle ending on March 31, 2023 you need at least half of your credit hours as in-person learning which can be a face-to-face lecture or a live, interactive online webinar.”
Answer: No, the requirement is only for those that prescribe narcotics. If anyone else wants to complete the course, you will still receive CE credits but it’s not a requirement and may not count towards your CE requirements since this is not in the Dental Hygienists scope of practice.
Answer: The State Board has no requirements regarding “radiation protection” training for staff that take radiographs. It is recommended by the DEP that individuals complete a “radiation protection” program every four years. The X-Ray machine inspector may ask you for proof that you and your coworkers have completed this during his/her annual inspection.
Answer: There are no PA SBOD regulations on OSHA and HIPAA training, but dental offices must be in compliance with both because they are required by federal law.
OSHA training is required annually, and HIPAA training is as needed, whenever there are significant updates to a practice's daily operations that affect HIPAA or a new employee (or a current employee that takes on new job responsibilities). But it is not required specifically by the PA SBOD as part of CE hours/training for license renewal. However, CE credits earned from courses on OSHA/infection control and HIPAA offered by a PA SBOD approved provider do count toward the hours needed to renew a dental license.