A pair of bills would ease restrictions on dental care by allowing training hygienists to do routine procedures without the presence of a dentist, particularly at schools.
Hygienists could, for example, administer local anesthetics, under supervision, and perform dental hygiene at schools, without a dentist.
Senate Bill 146 won unanimous approval from senators on March 31. The House version, House Bill 144, passed 113-1 on Thursday, May 6. Rep. Abe Jones, D-Wake, cast the lone dissenting vote.
Lawmakers will now likely decide which bill to use for the final version that will head ultimately to the governor.
The bills are similar, and each includes a provision for teledentistry: in other words, meeting with a patient online to cull data, record symptoms, and make assessments, for example.