On May 9, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law a dental hygiene bill that allows dental hygienists to use nitrous oxide and local infiltration anesthesia to assist dentists with all dental procedures. The bill, which was originally introduced in the State Senate in May 2021, amends section 6605-b of the Education Law effective immediately.
The bill states, in part, that “a dental hygienist shall not administer or monitor nitrous oxide analgesia or local infiltration anesthesia in the practice of dental hygiene without a dental hygiene restricted local infiltration anesthesia/nitrous oxide analgesia certificate and except under the personal supervision of a dentist and in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commissioner.”
The bill was crafted and supported by the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA). In a telephone call, Lance Plunkett, the NYSDA’s General Counsel, clarified that dental hygienists were already permitted to administer or monitor nitrous oxide analgesia or local infiltration anesthesia; however, they were previously restricted to do so only for dental hygiene procedures. “This bill now allows hygienists to use these modalities of nitrous oxide analgesia or local infiltration anesthesia for any dental procedure, which will be much more helpful to the dentist,” Plunkett said.
This post was written by Lindsay Brocki, a Rivkin Radler summer associate.
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