Dental Hygienist May Prescribe Fluoride, Fluoride Varnish & Non-Systemic Antimicrobial Agents

House Bill 2426 amended the Oregon Dental Practice Act to allow expanded practice dental hygienists to “assess the need for and appropriateness of sealants, apply sealants and write prescriptions for all applications of fluoride in which fluoride is applied or supplied to patients.” When House Bill 2426 became law, the Oregon Board of Dentistry amended OAR 818-035-0030 to allow all dental hygienists to prescribe fluoride, fluoride varnish and non-systemic antimicrobial agents. In 2014 he Assistant Attorney General for the Oregon Board of dentistry opined that there was no prescriptive authority granted to all dental hygienists in the law other than the statute that allowed expanded practice dental hygienists to write prescriptions for fluoride. Based on this legal opinion, the Oregon Board of Dentistry deleted the word “prescribe” from their administrative rules for dental hygienists effective August 1, 2014 so that dental hygienists without an expanded practice permit were no longer able to prescribe any medications. In 2015 Senate Bill 302 passed and prescriptive authority was restored to all dental hygienists through statute.

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