What You Should Know About Dental Professionals and Their Services
Last Updated: September 27, 2019
Many companies are now offering "Do it Your Self" or "DIY" dental treatments, often at a reduced fee. Examples of these treatments/products include, orthodontic treatment, tooth whitening, grills, mouth guards, etc. Here are some suggested questions you should ask yourself when considering one of these treatments/products.
Additionally, as part of your DIY treatment, will you receive any office visits to see the orthodontist or dentist? If so, will these visits result in added costs to you?
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding a "Direct to the Consumer" product, please contact the New York State Education Department at email@example.com or 1(800) 442-8106.
Dentists restore and maintain dental health by diagnosing and treating, operating on, or prescribing for any disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition of the oral and maxillofacial area. In general, this means the teeth, gums, jaws, and other areas of the head and neck as long as the mouth is involved. Under the supervision of a dentist, dental hygienists provide treatment to prevent cavities and gum diseases.
Dentists and dental hygienists must be licensed by the Board of Regents to practice in New York State. As part of a dental delivery team, only dental hygienists and dentists may perform the following services:
Dental assistants perform a variety of support functions; those who elect to become licensed as New York registered dental assistants may also perform these services as part of a dental delivery team under the direct, personal supervision of a dentist:
Dental assistants who do not perform these services do not need a license.
D.D.S. and D.M.D. are the usual doctoral degrees granted by American dental schools. They stand for Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Dental Medicine, respectively. There is no difference between the training provided by D.D.S. and D.M.D. programs.
New York licensed dentists have completed a four-year program in dentistry following at least two years of college; most have completed a bachelor's degree or equivalent before entering dental school. Graduates of non-U.S. programs have completed at least two additional years in an American dental school, and licensees practicing a specialty have additional education in that area. In addition, New York licensed dentists have passed a State-approved licensing examination or have completed a dental residency program. Once licensed, they are required to take continuing education courses regularly.
No. New York licensed dentists are authorized by their State license to treat any condition of the mouth within their scope of practice. Some dentists, however, choose to specialize in a particular area of practice and complete additional studies in a dental specialty; these professionals may limit their practices to their specialties.
Dental specialists may include these practitioners:
New York licensed dentists must be specially certified to provide certain levels of sedation: conscious sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia. Discuss sedation needs, options and concerns with your dentist.
R.D.H. stands for Registered Dental Hygienist, the title commonly used by licensed dental hygienists. New York licensed dental hygienists have earned a certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree from an approved dental hygiene program after earning a September 27, 2019 hygienists have passed a State-approved licensing examination and are required to take continuing education courses.
With additional State certification, New York licensed dental hygienists may administer and monitor local infiltration anesthesia (for example, local anesthesia administered by needle) and nitrous oxide analgesia (an inhaled gas) during the practice of dental hygiene. These activities must be supervised personally by a licensed dentist.
New York Registered Dental Assistants have completed an approved one-year course of college study, or an approved alternate course of study, and have a high school diploma. They have also passed a State-approved licensing examination.
Dental care may be provided only in dental offices, clinics, schools, hospitals and other related health care facilities; it may not be provided in commercial dental laboratories. Check with people you know for recommendations. You may also look under "Dentists" in the yellow pages of your phone book. Local professional societies may provide referrals, including emergency referrals. The State Board for Dentistry cannot refer you to a practitioner.
Your patient record typically contains your case history, dental examination findings, x-ray films, lab findings, reports from other treatment professionals, and other treatment records. Your dentist must keep client records for six years or until the client turns 22, whichever is longer. Generally, your records are confidential unless you approve their release. Ask your professional about exceptions to this. If you want a copy of your records, provide your dentist with a written request. You may be charged a reasonable fee to offset the cost of providing copies.
Ask such questions as whether the service location is physically accessible (curb cuts, ramps, restrooms, etc.) as well as whether there is a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD), parking for people with disabilities, or home-bound care.
In turn, your dental professional should:
You may verify licenses on this site.
In a dentist's office, school, or other facility not regulated by the State Department of Health, the dentist, dental hygienist, or registered dental assistant must display a current New York State registration certificate that lists the practitioner's name, address, and license number.
In hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other facilities regulated by the State Department of Health, licensees must wear identification badges listing their name and legal professional title.
Dental professionals must reregister every three years to practice in New York.
Visit our professional discipline page to learn more about how we address professional misconduct and unlicensed practice of the professions. To file a complaint about the professional conduct of a New York professional or about someone who is practicing without a license, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-442-8106 or your regional office.
Last Updated: September 27, 2019