Dental Hygienists FAQs

Q:  My supervising dentist has two practice locations.  Can a hygienist work without "direct supervision" in one office while the supervising dentist is working in the other office?
A:  Yes.  A hygienist may work under "general supervision" as long as the patient is not a new patient, the supervising dentist has completed an examination during the 12 calendar months preceding the performance of the procedure, and the hygienist does not perform other prohibited procedures or functions.  K.S.A. 65-1456(d).

Q:  The supervising dentist is out of the office, but another dentist who works a few miles away in another practice is covering emergencies.  Can the hygienist continue performing prophylaxis on patients as long as the supervising dentist who is out of the office performed an examination on the patient during the past 12 calendar months?   
A:   Yes.  A hygienist may work under "general supervision" as long as the patient is not a new patient, the supervising dentist has completed an examination during the 12 calendar months preceding the performance of the procedure, and the hygienist does not perform other prohibited procedures or functions.  K.S.A. 65-1456(d).  

Q:  Can a hygienist perform a scaling and root planing with anesthetic when the supervising dentist is not physically present in the office?
A:  No.  K.S.A. 65-1456. 

Q:  If the supervising dentist is not physically present in the office, but the dental hygienist or assistant takes x-rays and gathers all the patient information, can the dentist bill for an examination when reading the x-rays on a later date or does the examination have to include a "hands in mouth?"
A:  The dentist must complete a "hands in mouth" examination to bill for any form of evaluation - comprehensive, periodic, or problem focused.  The radiographs should not be billed until they are read and interpreted by the dentist.