Frequently Asked Questions - Dental Hygienists

Whom do I contact if I need additional information?

You may contact the Customer Service Office by phone at 360-236-4700 or by email.

If I have a concern about a dentist or other licensed person's conduct or quality of work, is there a certain protocol to address the issue?

Refer to Health Professions Complaint Process and frequently asked questions.

Does a dental hygienist need to have basic life support (BLS) certification?

Yes. The continuing education rule was amended to require dental hygienists to maintain a current basic life support (BLS) card for healthcare providers.

What is the difference between a full dental hygiene license and a limited dental hygiene license?

A full dental hygiene license allows a dental hygienist to perform restorative work, administer local anesthetic or nitrous oxide analgesia. Restorative, local anesthesia and nitrous oxide are not allowed with an initial limited license per RCW 18.29.190. If the hygienist completes appropriate education and passes approved examinations, a temporary endorsement can be added to the limited license to allow restorative and local anesthetic and nitrous oxide.

I won't be practicing dental hygiene for a while, can I put my license in retired or inactive status?

No, at this time there is no retired or inactive status for dental hygienists. If your credential is active, you must complete renewal requirements even if you are not actively practicing.

Does a patient of record have to have been seen by a dentist within the past year to fall within the general supervision for the purposes of providing services with the dentist out of the office?

There is no time limit in the rules. He or she must only be a patient of record. In a dental office, a dental hygienist may not see or treat a new patient who has never been seen by the dentist.

Do I have to post my license?

Yes. The rules require all dental staff members to post their credentials, whether they have licenses, certifications or registration per WAC 246-817-301.