A bill intended to address the shortage of dental care in rural Nebraska passed Aug. 12.
LB312, introduced by Blair Sen. Ben Hansen, authorizes licensed dental hygienists to perform all authorized functions within their scope of practice in a public health setting except periodontal scaling, root planing and administrating anesthesia or nitrous oxide.
The bill also allows the state Department of Health and Human Services to authorize licensed hygienists to prescribe mouth rinses and fluoride products to decrease tooth decay and make minor denture adjustments, upon completion of education and testing.
DHHS is required to evaluate annually the delivery of dental hygiene services in Nebraska and report to the Legislature beginning in 2021.
Senators passed LB312 on a 47-0 vote.