Code of the District of Columbia

§ 3–1209.05. Dental assistant.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Dental assistant” means a person who is registered by the Board of Dentistry and is authorized to assist a licensed dentist in the performance of duties related to oral care under the direct supervision of a dentist.

(2) “Direct supervision” means the dentist is in the dental office or treatment facility, personally diagnoses the condition to be treated, personally authorizes the procedures, remains in the dental office or treatment facility while the procedures are being performed by the dental assistant, and personally evaluates the performance of the dental assistant before dismissal of the patient.

(b) A person who is engaged as a dental assistant in the District of Columbia shall be registered with the Board, renew the registration as required by rule, and pay the required registration fee established by the Board.

(c) A dental assistant shall wear a name tag bearing the title “dental assistant” while acting in a professional capacity and display his or her current registration in a conspicuous place in the dental office in which he or she is employed.

(d) A person shall not engage in the practice, or use the title, of dental assistant unless he or she is registered to practice as a dental assistant under this chapter and practices under the direct supervision of a dentist licensed under this chapter. Unless authorized by the Board to perform duties related to oral care in the District, an individual shall not be permitted to perform any clinical duties or engage in any physical patient contact.

(e) For a period of one year following July 7, 2009, unless further time is granted by the Board through rulemaking, persons who have received appropriate training for the tasks assigned may practice as a dental assistant.

(f) A dentist may delegate duties to a dental assistant that are appropriate to the training and experience of the dental assistant and within the scope of practice of the supervising dentist; provided, that the dentist shall not delegate to a dental assistant any task or function identified, through rulemaking, as a task or function that shall not be delegated.

(g) The Mayor shall issue rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section, including the standards of education and experience required to qualify as a registered dental assistant and the duties that may be performed by a dental assistant.


(Mar. 25, 1986, D.C. Law 6-99, § 905; as added July 7, 2009, D.C. Law 18-15, § 2(e), 56 DCR 3616.)