At the August 5, 2022 meeting, the Iowa Dental Board approved three Notices of Intended Action. The proposed rulemaking would make revisions to Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) 650 in the following areas.
- Dental assistant rules (ARC 6514C);
- Expanded function rules (ARC 6515C); and
- Orofacial pain as an additional area of specialty (ARC 6513C).
Approval of the Notices of Intended Action formally begins the rulemaking process on the proposed rule changes. Written comments will be accepted through September 30, 2022, and may be submitted to Christel.Braness@iowa.gov.
Below is a high level summary of the proposed rulemaking related to the practice of dental assisting and expanded functions. As a reminder, proposed rule changes are not effective unless adopted by the Board following the review of public comments and made effective. If any of the proposed changes are adopted, another press release will be issued clarifying the changes in rules and include an effective date.
DENTAL ASSISTANT RULEMAKING OVERVIEW
- Update the definitions of “direct supervision”, “general supervision of a dental assistant” and “personal supervision”. The proposed revisions would allow greater flexibility to the personal supervision of dental assistant trainees, which allows a dentist to delegate supervision.
- Eliminate the requirement for a formal application to practice as a dental assistant trainee. A dental assistant trainee would be allowed 12 months to train on-the-job while meeting the requirements for registration.
- Eliminate the minimum six-month training period required for dental assistant trainees to be eligible for registration. The supervising dentist would be able to determine when a dental assistant trainee has achieved competency for the purposes of registration.
- Allow additional examination formats for the purposes of registration as a dental assistant or qualification in dental radiography.
EXPANDED FUNCTIONS RULEMAKING OVERVIEW
- Reduce the period of time that a registered dental assistant would be required to practice prior to training in expanded functions. The revisions propose a three-month clinical practice requirement, following registration, prior to dental assistants training in expanded functions.
- Eliminate the definition of “provisional restoration” to allow flexibility in the use of orthodontic provisional restorations for the purposes of expanded functions.
- Separate some of the Level 1 expanded functions to allow greater flexibility. The proposal also includes moving the following current Level 2 expanded functions to Level 1:
- Placement of intracoronal temporary restorative materials following preparation of a tooth by a dentist.
- Extraoral adjustment to acrylic dentures without making any adjustments to the prosthetic teeth.
- Tissue conditioning (soft reline only).
- Update the classification of expanded functions.
- Level 1 expanded function training could be completed by any board-approved training providers.
- Level 2 expanded function training would be restricted to CODA-accredited colleges and universities using curriculum approved by the Board.
- Greater flexibility to choose which Level 1 or Level 2 expanded functions to complete. No longer require training in all Level 1 expanded functions prior to training in Level 2 expanded functions. Accredited programs may determine requirements to enroll in Level 2 training programs.