Summary of the “Dental Specialties Licensure and Scope of Practice Amendment Act of 2023” (B25-0632) 

V. 5/21/2024

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The DC Council is considering legislation to update to the scope of practice for dentists (see Dental Specialties Licensure and Scope of Practice Amendment Act of 2023, B25-0632). This legislation would establish a new licensing requirement for specialists in DC. 

DCDS has strong objections to the requirements as currently drafted and has requested that the DC Council Committee on Health schedule a hearing on the bill so the concerns of practicing dentists can be heard. We have been informed that if a hearing is scheduled, it is not likely to occur until June or later.

DCDS prepared a side-by-side comparison of current DC law and the changes that would be made if the legislation were enacted in its current form. Key provisions of the legislation include:

New Licensing Requirement for All Specialist Dentists - if enacted in its current form, the legislation would establish that:

  • A specialist dentist would not be able to practice in DC without obtaining a specialist license.
  • Board certification would be required to obtain a specialist license.
  • All specialists would be required to obtain a specialist license within one year of passage, which is likely to be before their current license expires on December 31, 2025.

The legislation would implement three significant expansions to the scope of practice for dentists:

  • Expanding the definition of the practice of dentistry to include "the placement or removal of dental implants";
  • Authorizing dentists to prescribe and administer "immunizations and vaccinations when certified by the Board of Dentistry to do so";
  • Authorizing dentists to "use of botulinum toxin or another neurotoxin approved by the Food and Drug Administration, to treat a diagnosed dental condition approved by the Mayor through rulemaking, when certified by the Board of Dentistry to do so.”

Note that DCDS is advocating for a broader authorization to administer botulinum toxin or other FDA approved neurotoxins beyond the limited use specified in the legislation.