Rule Change Expands Preventive Oral Health Care In High Need Areas

By Jared Brumbaugh January 16, 2020 Public Radio East

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A State Commission has approved a rule change that would allow more children in North Carolina to receive preventive dental care.

The North Carolina Rules Review Commission gave final approval to Rule 16W at their Thursday meeting in Raleigh. The rule change, which was unanimously approved by the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners in December, would allow dental hygienist to provide sealants and fluoride treatments to children in communities with limited access to dental care, known as Health Provider Shortage Areas. Prior to the rule change, North Carolina required a dentist to complete an exam before a dental hygienist can deliver preventive services.

“It eliminates that barrier, it makes it a little more efficient and easier to gain access for those that really often are the ones disproportionately lacking access to prevention,” said Dr. Zachary Brian, North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC) Director.

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