The provincial government is posting proposed oral health regulatory changes with the intention of promoting more interprofessional practice, as well as providing more dental care options for people in B.C.
Regulations affected include the Dental Hygienist Regulation, Dental Technicians Regulation, Denturists Regulation and Dentists Regulation.
“Dental hygienists do outstanding work and advocacy to improve oral health care for British Columbians,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We are posting proposed regulation changes intended to give people more choice regarding their oral health care. The proposed changes are important for dental hygienists and patients, and I invite dental workers and the public to provide their input on this proposal.”
One proposed change affects dental hygienists in B.C. who do not fall into the College of Dental Hygienists of BC’s (CDHBC) “365-day rule exempt” class of registrant and may only provide dental hygiene services if a patient has been examined by a dentist within the past 365 days.
With this proposal, the 365-day rule for dental hygienists would be removed. This would allow all dental hygienists to treat a patient, regardless of whether they have been examined by a dentist within the preceding year, provided the CDHBC implement new standards of practice guiding independent practice. The proposal would require dental hygienists to inform a patient that a dental exam should be taken but would not be mandatory, leaving the choice to the patient.
Dental hygienists clean teeth and provide preventive and therapeutic dental care.
Similar changes are being proposed for denturists, who also have a 365-day rule relating to repairing and relining prescription authorized dentures.
Section 55 (3) of the Health Professions Act requires that at least three months’ notice of proposed regulation amendments must be given. This time period will allow government to hear from stakeholders and the public on their view of the proposed changes.