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Telephone: (803) 896-4599

Kate K. Cox,

Lisa Hawsey
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Annie Heyward
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Alex Imgrund
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South Carolina Board of Dentistry

NEW - Dental Technicians Legislation FAQs (pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I retire from active practice of dentistry (or dental hygiene/dental technological work), must I continue to obtain continuing education in order to keep my license/certificate active?

A: If you are fully retired from active practice, you may request a waiver of continuing education and CPR requirements. If waiver is granted, you must sign an "Agreement” confirming that you will not resume active practice without first fulfilling all CE and other requirements owed during period of retirement. A licensee granted a waiver may not practice at all, not even on a "fill-in” or occasional basis. Also, a licensee granted a waiver is not exempt from all other annual renewal requirements, including payment of the annual license renewal fee.

Q: How do I know if a continuing education course that I want to attend is accepted in South Carolina?

A: The Board does not approve individual courses or content. Board Regulation 39-5.F. (4) lists sponsoring organizations that the Board has approved, such as the ADA and AGD, which do not have to receive prior approval from the Board. If you have questions about course sponsorship or course approval, you will need to contact the course provider to ascertain sponsorship. Study clubs and local societies or associations are approved CE sponsors, provided a form of verification of the CE course name, date, instructor and hours is provided. Correspondence and home-study courses are approved, provided a post-test is successfully completed and a certificate of completion is obtained. One credit hour of CE is earned for each one contact hour of instruction.

Q: What duties can a dental assistant legally perform?

A: Refer to Board Regulation 39-12, Approved Procedures of Dental Assistants, and 39-13, Approved Procedures of Expanded Duty Dental Assistants.

Q: Am I entitled to my patient records and x-rays and can I be legally charged for copies?

A: Board Regulation 39-11, Ethics (1-B), states, "Upon request of a patient or another dental practitioner, dentists shall provide any information that will be beneficial for the future treatment of that patient.” Further, in accordance with Board policy, dental records are the property of the dentist who performs the dental service; however, a patient who requests his/her records shall have access to such records. Copies of patient records and/or x-rays, or summaries thereof, must be made available to the patient and/or new dentist upon submission of a written release authorization, in a reasonable manner and upon reasonable costs associated with providing such record. This obligation exists whether or not the patient's account is paid in full.

Q: How long must a dentist retain patient records?

A: In accordance with Section 40-15-83, dentists shall retain their patient records for at least five years. These minimum recordkeeping periods begin to run from the last date of treatment. After five years, the records may be destroyed. If a dentist is employed by a corporation or another dentist, the corporation or employing dentist is responsible for maintaining the patient records for a period of five years. The practicing dentist shall have access to these patient records during that period.

Q: Does S.C. have reciprocity with any other state?

A: No. Reciprocity is not offered in S.C. Our state is a member of the Southern Regional Testing Agency, Inc. (SRTA) and Central Regional Dental Testing Service, Inc. (CRDTS).

Q: Which schools offer courses in the administration of local infiltration anesthesia and monitoring of nitrous oxide anesthesia?

A: The following schools are approved to offer courses in both the administration of infiltration anesthesia and monitoring nitrous oxide:

MUSC College of Dental Medicine, Charleston, S.C.;

Trident Technical College, Charleston, S.C.;

Midlands Technical College, Columbia, S.C.;

Greenville Technical College, Greenville, S.C.;

York Technical College, Rock Hill, S.C.

Two additional schools are approved to offer nitrous oxide monitoring courses:

Florence-Darlington Technical College, Florence, S.C.;

Tri-County Technical College, Pendleton, S.C.

Q: What is the CPR requirement for dental and dental hygiene licensure renewal?

A: Dentists and dental hygienists are required to complete an approved CPR course, adult/child CPR, one or two-person depending on the needs of the particular office, once every three years. Courses that have been approved by the Board include:

American Red Cross "Community CPR;”

American Red Cross "CPR for the Professional Rescuer;”

American Heart Association "Heartsaver CPR;”

American Heart Association "BLS Healthcare Provider.”

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