Rice Bills Requires More Schooling For Dental Hygienists

TRENTON – Legislation co-sponsored by Senators Robert W. Singer and Ronald L. Rice which would require dental hygienists to complete 20 hours of continuing education requirements as a condition of biennial license renewal, was approved by the full Senate today.

“Dental care is sometimes overlooked and too many New Jersey residents are not taking the time to get regular check ups,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “It’s no surprise that a lack of regular visits to the dentist will lead to other health problems, but by exercising good dental hygiene citizens can greatly improve their quality of life.

Dental hygienists are so important because they are the first line of defense for keeping us well.”

The bill, S-1272, would leave the current requirement intact that requires dental assistants to complete 10 hours of continuing education every two years.

“Maintaining high standards for dental hygienists is important for their professional standards,” said Senator Singer. “Dental hygienists are highly trained professionals and as such, should continue to improve their education as it relates to their field.”

Senator Rice noted that under the current statute, dental hygienists are required to complete 10 hours of continuing education in a two-year period.

“By requiring additional hours of continued education, dental hygienist will be able to provide a higher quality of care,” said Senator Rice. “Just like nurses, dental hygienists are important members of the health care community and with extra training will be better equipped to treat patients.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration before it can go to the Governor’s office for final approval.