HB 154- A New Law in the State of Georgia

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HB 154 was signed into law on May 8th in the state of Georgia by Gov. Nathan Deal. The new law allows Dental Hygienists to practice under general supervision in private practice and a variety of “safety net settings”.

Georgia now joins more than forty other states which allow Georgia licensed dentists to allow the Georgia licensed dental hygienists in their employment to perform oral prophylaxis, apply fluoride, sealants, and in certain cases, take X-rays, without the dentist being physically on site.

A “Safety Net Setting” includes the following types of institutions:

Federally Qualified Health Centers

Family Violence Shelters

Long-Term Care Communities (Nursing Homes)

Title I Schools and Hospitals

Volunteer Community Health Settings

It’s estimated that approximately 1 in 4 children in Georgia do not  receive preventive dental care.  Furthermore, senior citizens are also at high risk for undetected dental abnormalities. Dental Hygienists will now be able to provide preventative services to these overlooked citizens and refer them to a dentist when necessary.

This is a very positive outcome for the field of dentistry and the state of Georgia. Preventative assistance will be available to patients who would otherwise be unable to receive these services.