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The Dental Practice Act (DPA) requires that all licensees “maintain at a minimum a current BLS for Healthcare Providers certificate or its equivalent". The term “BLS for Healthcare Providers" (also called Provider BLS, or BLS for Professional Rescuers) is borrowed from the American Red Cross, but the DPA does not specifically require that the certification be completed through the American Heart Association or the Red Cross.
Many Licensees choose to complete online recertification courses. These courses are acceptable for recertification, as long as completion of the course results in a BLS for Healthcare Providers certification. Unfortunately, many online courses have misleading titles like “CPR for Healthcare Professionals" that sound very similar to what is required by the DPA, but are actually not equivalent to a “BLS for Healthcare Providers". It can be difficult for Licensees to ascertain whether a particular course is equivalent to a BLS for Healthcare Providers certification. If the issue is disputed, the Board defers to the course instructor to make the determination.
The best way to determine if a particular course is equivalent to BLS for Healthcare Providers is to contact the course instructor ahead of enrolling in (and paying for!) the course, and ask that person to confirm (in writing) that completion of the course will result in BLS for Healthcare Providers certification. Once confirmation is received and the course is completed, it is advisable for the licensee to retain the instructor's written confirmation in the same location as the BLS for Healthcare Providers certificate. If the instructor is unwilling or unable to provide this documentation, it is best to select another course.
In 2019, the Board took action to remove teeth whitening from the list of dental assisting duties that require an EFDA certification. The Board continues to refine the language in the DPA to make it clear that their intention is to allow all dental assistants, not just EFDAs, to perform teeth whitening. As with all dental assisting duties, they would be permitted to perform this duty under the indirect supervision of an Oregon-licensed dentist or dental hygienist, and within a dental clinic. The supervising licensee is responsible for ensuring that dental assistants receive proper training to perform teeth whitening. Please note that per OAR 818-042-0040, dental assistants are prohibited from using any lasers, except for laser curing lights.
The Oregon Dental Association has some great resources available for dental offices.
The Oregon Dental Association has material regarding the Amalgam Separator Law.
Oral Health Screening Policy
2003 House Bill 3157, which was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, allowed the Oregon Board of Dentistry (OBD) to develope written training and screening protocols so dental hygientists and dental assistants could independently perform Oral Health Screenings in Oregon.
The OBD on January 23, 2004 determined that no additional training was necessary for Oregon Dental Hygienists or Oregon Dental Assistants.
The OBD adopted specific language that must be on any Oral Health Screening Form that would be given to individuals or parents or guardians of minors who would be screened.
The following is the language and would need to be on any Oral Health Screening Form that would be used by any Oregon Dental Hygienist or Oregon Dental Assistant in compliance with Oregon Law.
This language was revised on March 1, 2006.
This is an oral health screening for ______________________________.
A screening is just a quick look and does not take the place of a thorough examination by a dentist. Serious oral health problems may be missed in a screening. The person doing the screening may or may not have any dental training. [Dental Hygienists or Dental Assistants may omit the previous sentence.]
The Board encourages others who may do Oral Health Screenings to use this language on their screening forms.
Pursuant to ORS 419B.005(3) Dentists are mandatory reporters and are required to report child or elder abuse. That being said, all citizens in Oregon have the responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves and should report any case of suspected child or elder abuse.
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