Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners

Monday, November 20, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions -- >
  Dental, Dental Hygiene & Dental Assisting Students

Students
  • Does the Board require DIRECT supervision for dental hygiene students during fundamentals laboratory sessions, wherein such students take impressions and practice with a dental instrument on each other?
  • No, but with STRICT limitations. At its 11/16/2012 meeting, the Board considered a request concerning DIRECT supervision for dental hygiene students during fundamentals laboratory sessions, wherein such students take impressions and practice with a dental instrument on each other and NOT the public-at-large. The Board determined that dental hygiene students ARE ALLOWED to practice dental hygiene under the guidelines of the Mississippi Dental Practice Act on fellow dental hygiene students and NOT the public-at-large, and ONLY while such students are actively enrolled in a Mississippi accredited dental hygiene program, all without the necessity of a dentist being present in the clinical facility. However, a member of the dental hygiene faculty MUST be present while such procedures are being performed.
  •  
  • In light of the Board's 11/16/2012 determination regarding dental hygiene students, does the Board require DIRECT supervision when dental assisting students practice (role-play) with each other while enrolled in Mississippi dental assisting schools?
  • Yes. This is different from the 11/16/2012 determination regarding dental hygienists. At its 04/21/2015 meeting, the Board considered a similar request from Meridian Community College’s dental assisting program as to whether direct supervision, which has been defined in Board Regulation 13, is required for dental assisting students practicing (role-playing) on each other and NOT on the general public. At that meeting, the Board determined that dental assisting students are NOT allowed to practice dental assisting procedures under the guidelines in the Mississippi Dental Practice Act (MDPA) on fellow dental assisting students and the public-at-large while actively enrolled in a Mississippi dental assisting program without a currently licensed Mississippi dentist being present in the facility. In other words, a currently licensed Mississippi dentist must be present in the facility at all times while procedures are being performed on both students and the public-at-large. Refer to Board Regulation 13.
  •  
  • Are dental, dental hygiene, and dental assisting students currently enrolled in these Mississippi ADA-accredited programs required to apply for Mississippi Radiology Permits to administer radiographs?
  • No. Dental students, dental hygiene students, and dental assisting students actively enrolled in Mississippi ADA-accredited dental, dental hygiene, or dental assisting programs do not need to make application for a Mississippi Radiology Permit to administer radiographs in dental offices or other entities lawfully authorized to provide dental services while attending the above-referenced programs. However, the Board MUST receive a letter from the dental, dental hygiene, or dental assisting dean or program head certifying as to a student's successful completion of the program's radiology coursework prior to that student administering radiographs in dental offices or other entities lawfully authorized to provide dental services while attending the above-referenced programs. Once such students no longer are enrolled in any of the aforementioned programs, if they wish to continue administering radiographs in Mississippi dental offices or other entities lawfully authorized to provide dental services, they MUST apply for a Mississippi Radiology Permit and ensure compliance with the requirements stipulated in Board Regulation 25. Refer to Board Regulation 25 for more information regarding the application for and issuance of Mississippi Radiology Permits.
  •  
  • Are Mississippi's dental hygiene schools allowed to teach local anesthesia to their dental hygiene students in light of the Board NOT ALLOWING the administration of local anesthesia by dental hygienists licensed by the Board?
  • Yes, but with STRICT limitations. At its 04/21/2015 meeting, the Board considered a request from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) School of Dental Hygiene to teach the administration of local anesthesia to the level of LABORATORY COMPETENCY and NOT clinical competency. The Board voted to ALLOW the instruction of local anesthesia administration at all Mississippi accredited dental hygiene schools ONLY to the level of laboratory competency and ONLY by currently licensed Mississippi dentists who are faculty members. In other words, no local anesthesia will be administered by dental hygiene students either on the general public or fellow students enrolled in such dental hygiene programs.
  •  
  • Are Mississippi licensed dentists functioning as adjunct professors and supervising dental and dental hygiene student externs allowed to bill patients and any third-party payors for all dental treatment rendered by these student externs?
  • Yes. At its 04/01/2016 meeting, the Board discussed the off-site rural rotation program presented by the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry. The Board voted to approve the proposed off-site rural rotation program and, further, to allow the Mississippi licensed dentists functioning as adjunct professors and supervising these student externs to bill patients and any third-party payors for all dental treatment rendered by these student externs, inasmuch as the Board has determined that such externships do not violate Miss. Code Ann. 73-9-3(1)(h), which stipulates that the Board may not prohibit: "[d]ental or dental hygiene students enrolled in accredited dental or dental hygiene schools from participating in off-site training recognized and approved by the board, but those activities shall not be carried on for profit..." Additionally, the Board determined the phrase “shall not be carried on for profit” to mean that student externs are NOT allowed to profit monetarily from such externships. The Board further determined that licensed Mississippi dentists supervising such student externs must be physically present in the dental office or treatment facility, personally diagnose the condition to be treated, authorize the procedures to be performed, remain in the dental office or treatment facility while the procedures are being performed, and evaluate the performance of the student extern. The foregoing determination also applies to dental hygiene students authorized to participate in off-site training programs by any Mississippi accredited dental hygiene school, as well.
  •  
  • Are working interviews by dental hygienists who do not hold a currently valid Mississippi dental hygiene license considered as practicing dental hygiene without a license?
  • Yes. At its 04/01/2016 meeting, the Board considered this issue, inasmuch as questions of this nature have arisen numerous times over the years, and the answer has been NO, albeit no formal Board determination had been made on this subject. Due to continuing questions along these lines, it was decided that a formal Board determination should be made insofar as whether such “working interviews” by those who still may be enrolled in Mississippi dental hygiene school (when such working interviews are not a requirement for graduation), or by those who have graduated from a Mississippi dental hygiene school and who have not been issued a Mississippi dental hygiene license are considered the illegal practice of dental hygiene unless such dental hygienists possess a currently valid Mississippi dental hygiene license. At this meeting, the Board officially determined that dentists and dental hygienists are NOT ALLOWED to practice their respective professions in the State of Mississippi without having been issued a currently valid Mississippi dental or dental hygiene license. Furthermore, this determination pertains to any dentists or dental hygienists who may be participating in "working interviews," such term being defined as rendering dental or dental hygiene treatment to live human subjects in the State of Mississippi.
  •  
  • Are out-of-state dental and dental hygiene students allowed to complete any required clinical external rotations in the State of Mississippi?
  • Yes. At its 07/29/2016 meeting, the Board considered a request from the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health regarding whether one of that School's fourth-year dental students would be allowed to complete his/her required clinical external rotation program in Mississippi. At that meeting, the Board determined that the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health's fourth-year dental students who have fulfilled the School’s requirements to be eligible for clinical external rotations may complete such rotations in the State of Mississippi pursuant to the requirements set forth in Miss. Code Ann. 73-9-3(g) and (h) and Board Regulation 3, which sets forth requirements for regulating individuals with less than full licensure. Furthermore, the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health must ensure compliance with all requirements by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) regarding clinical external rotations, and it must submit a detailed report to the Board specifying the names of all dental and dental hygiene students, as well as their designated adjunct professor(s), a minimum of thirty (30) days prior to the actual commencement of the clinical external rotation. Additionally, this clinical external rotation approval and reporting requirement extends to all CODA-accredited dental schools and dental hygiene schools. Refer to Refer to Miss. Code Ann. 73-9-3(g) and (h) and Board Regulation 3.
  •