News & Current Issues in the Dental Professions

  • Consumer Information: "Do it Yourself" Dental/Orthodontic Treatment

    Many companies are now offering "Do it Your Self" or "DIY" dental treatments, often at a reduced fee. Examples of these treatments/products include, orthodontic treatment, tooth whitening, grills, mouth guards, etc. Here are some suggested questions you should ask yourself when considering one of these treatments/products.

    1. Is the DIY treatment/product legal under New York State laws and regulations?
    2. Are your teeth healthy enough for the DIY treatment you are considering? What are the potential risks of this treatment/product?
    3. Will you ever see a licensed New York State dentist during the course of your DIY treatment? If you have a problem during the course of treatment or while using the product, who will assist you in addressing it?
    4. Will initial records, such as x-rays, photographs and impressions/scans be taken prior to the start of your DIY treatment or the use of the product? Will you have access to these records if needed?
    5. Are there any hidden fees that may come up during or after your DIY treatment?
    6. Is the company you will be working with asking you to sign a release relieving it of any liability? If you have a dispute or are injured during the course of your DIY treatment or during the use of the product, what rights do you have?
    7. Are you considering a DIY treatment that involves the orthodontic movement of your teeth? If so, you should be aware that moving teeth incorrectly can potentially damage teeth and the supporting tissue.

    Additionally, as part of your DIY treatment, will you receive any office visits to see the orthodontist or dentist? If so, will these visits result in added costs to you?

    Should you have any questions or concerns regarding a "Direct to the Consumer" product, please contact the New York State Education Department at or 1(800) 442-8106.

  • New York State Department of Health Mandatory Prescriber Education. Pursuant to Public Health Law §3309-a(3), prescribers licensed under Title 8 of the Education Law in New York to treat humans and who have a DEA registration number to prescribe controlled substances, as well as medical residents who prescribe controlled substances under a facility DEA registration number, are required to complete at least three (3) hours of course work or training in pain management, palliative care, and addiction by July 1, 2017, and once every three (3) years thereafter. More information about this requirement can be found on our website.

  • Amendment to Section 61.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to the Dental Anesthesia Certification Requirements for Licensed Dentists. On December 13, 2016, the Board of Regents adopted amendments to section 61.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education that redefine the types of anesthesia used by licensed dentists, with anesthesia certification, to conform the regulation’s definitions with the definitions used by the American Dental Association (ADA). The amendments also establish new certifications for administering conscious (moderate) parenteral anesthesia and conscious (moderate) enteral anesthesia and includes a requirement for separate certifications for the administration of those types of anesthesia to pediatric patients aged 12 and under. The amendments to subdivisions (a) and (d) of section 61.10 are effective July 1, 2017 and the amendments to subdivisions (b) and (c) of section 61.10 are effective January 1, 2018. The amended regulation can found here:

  • The Practice of Dental Hygiene Pursuant to Collaborative Arrangements. Effective January 1, 2015, Chapter 239 of the Laws of 2013 (Chapter 239) amended the Education Law to provide greater access to New Yorkers to important dental health services, including, but not limited to, teeth cleaning, fluoride applications, varnishes, sealants, x-rays and patient education, by allowing dental hygienists working for hospitals as defined by Article 28 of the Public Health Law (Article 28 hospital), pursuant to a collaborative arrangement with a licensed and registered dentist, who has a formal relationship with the same hospital. An Article 28 hospital includes hospitals, hospital-based dental clinics, local health department dental clinics, and nursing homes overseen by the New York State Department of Health.

    The Board of Regents adopted an amendment to section 61.9 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, effective January 1, 2015, to implement Chapter 239, which can be found at:

    Also, under a collaborative arrangement, dental hygienists may only provide those dental services that may be provided under the general supervision of a dentist, as defined in subdivision (b) of section 61.9 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, without requiring the physical presence of the collaborating dentist during the provision of such services.

    In addition to the above-referenced requirements, the regulatory amendment, requires, among other things, that dental hygienists, practicing under a collaborative arrangement, possess and maintain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and instruct individuals to visit a licensed dentist for a comprehensive examination or treatment.

    A sample collaborative arrangement agreement can be found here.

  • School Dental Health Certificates
    Effective July 2013, all schools will be required to request that students complete a dental health certificate. The Education Law Article 19, Section 903 was revised to include registered dental hygienists, along with dentists, as the professionals who are permitted to complete a dental health certificate. Please see the certificate form ( PDF 30 KB) and Questions and Answers for information about this new program.

  • Use of Internet Coupons (May 2012)
    In the case of coupons, including Internet coupons, licensed professionals who advertise these discounts should be cautious. Generally speaking, discounts cannot be limited to one segment of your practice without offering the same discount to the rest of your practice. Additionally, the fee you pay for these advertising services may constitute fee splitting. The offering of improper discounts and/or the improper sharing of professional fees may subject a licensee to charges of professional misconduct.

    There are several definitions of unprofessional conduct in Part 29 of the Rules of the Board of Regents which may be implicated by the use of coupons, including paragraphs 29.1(b)(2), (3), (4), and (12). The actual language of the Regents Rules is available at:

  • Smoking Cessation Opinion (May 2012)
    In 1992, it was determined by the State Education Department that prescribing smoking cessation products was not in the scope of practice of dentistry, unless an oral condition necessitated such a prescription. More recently, the issue has again been raised by the New York State Department of Health and others involved in smoking cessation programs, and the State Education Department has been asked to review the question of the authority of dentists to issue such prescriptions.

    Since 1992, there have been two legislative changes relating to dentistry that support a change in the 1992 determination. Chapter 576 of the Laws of 2001 amended section 6601 of the Education Law to include within the scope of practice of dentistry "maintaining dental health." That same year, chapter 237 of the Laws of 2001 amended section 6604-a of the Education Law to require dentists to complete, as part of their continuing education requirement, "no less than two hours of coursework and training regarding the chemical and related effects [of] usage of tobacco and tobacco products and the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of the oral health effects, including but not limited to cancers and other diseases, caused by tobacco and tobacco products...." Based on these changes in law which include "maintaining dental health" in the scope of practice of dentistry and require continuing education in the adverse health effects of tobacco use, the Department has determined that prescribing smoking cessation products is currently within the scope of practice of dentistry.

  • Registration Renewal Changes as of July 2010
    In our continued efforts to streamline the registration process we will be fully implementing Online Registration for dentists, dental hygienists and certified dental assistants by eliminating the mailing of paper registration renewal applications. As part of this process, beginning in July 2010 you will receive a one-page letter with all necessary information to renew your registration for your license online. The online process will provide a timely and secure alternative to paper registration applications. When registering online, the registration fees can be paid using a credit card, and no additional charge will be added for this convenience. If required, licensees may request a paper renewal application.

  • Dental Residency Programs
    On September 16, 2009, Governor Paterson signed legislation, effective on January 1, 2010, which provides that individuals who meet the education requirement for a dental license and who are employed in an approved residency program are not required to obtain a limited permit in order to practice within the confines of that residency program. The law requires residents to register with the Department and pay a reasonable registration fee, not to exceed that currently charged for a limited permit. This law also provides that individuals may take the mandatory ethics and jurisprudence course during the period of their dental residency.

  • Restricted Dental Faculty License
    Effective February 1, 2009, the Department may issue a restricted dental faculty license to a full-time faculty member employed at an approved New York State school of dentistry. Licensure requirements and application forms (PDF) for this new license have been posted.

  • Continuing Education in Ethics and Jurisprudence: During the next registration period beginning on or after January 1, 2008, each dentist who is required to complete continuing education must, on a one-time basis, complete a three-hour course in New York State jurisprudence and ethics. At this time, the Department has approved courses to be offered by the New York State Dental Foundation, the Henry Spenadel Continuing Education Program of the First District Dental Society, University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. Those organizations should be contacted directly for details on the course offering.

  • Important Information About Mandatory Continuing Education for Dentists Including Changes to Minimum Requirements and Mandated Courses (April 2008)

  • Continuing Education Changes - Chapter 183, Laws of 2007(July 2007)

  • Scope of Practice for New York State Licensed Registered Dental Assistants and Dental Hygienists
    Recent changes to section 6608 of Education Law and sections 52.26, 61.9 and 61.13 of the Commissioner's Regulations have changed the scope of practice for New York State licensed registered dental assistants and dental hygienists. The Department is currently developing a questions and answers guide to help clarify the changes. Please keep checking this site for additional information. (June 2007)

  • Restricted Certificate to Administer and Monitor Local Infiltration Anesthesia and Nitrous Oxide Analgesia (August 2003)

  • Nitrous Oxide Equipment Requirement (August 2003)

  • Scope of Practice Changes for Registered Dental Assistants and Dental Hygienists (July 2003)

  • Law Requires Dentists to Collect and Recycle all Mercury and Amalgam Waste (March 2003)
Last Updated: May 2, 2022