Florida Board of Dentistry Meets in Orlando

Feb 9, 2024 by Casey Stoutamire
On Friday, May 17, the Florida Board of Dentistry (BOD) covered topics such as an interstate licensure compact, an anesthesia inspection program, sterilization rules and a proposal for RFDA for dental assistants.

The Florida Board of Dentistry (BOD) met in Orlando on Friday, May 17 at 7:30 a.m. The FDA was represented by FDA BOD Liaison Dr. Don Ilkka and Director of Third Party Payer and Professional Affairs Casey Stoutamire. Other FDA members in attendance included Drs. Andy Brown and Paul Palo. Students from the Valencia College hygiene program also were in attendance.

Eight BOD members were present, which included: Dr. Claudio Miro, chair; Dr. Naved Fatmi, vice chair; Drs. Matt Freedman, Nick Kavouklis and Nick White; Ms. Cathy Cabanzon and Ms. Angie Sissine, hygiene members; and consumer member, Mr. Fabio Andrade. Dr. TJ Tejera was absent. There is one dentist position and one consumer position open on the board that the governor has not yet filled.

BOD Executive Director Ms. Jennifer Wenhold updated the board on legislation from the 2019 Session that will impact the profession. There was much discussion on the telehealth legislation and how it will impact dentistry. Ms. Sissine, Rules Committee chair, has scheduled an in-person Rules Committee meeting on Aug. 22 in Jacksonville to start the rulemaking process. Ms. Wenhold updated the board on a meeting she attended at the ADA in Chicago where there was discussion on an interstate licensure compact. The compact, which would require legislative action, would not be licensure reciprocity. Instead, it would allow for a more streamlined licensure process for those dentists and hygienists moving between states that are part of the compact. There was no discussion by the board because this would first require action by the Legislature.

Ms. Wenhold then updated the board on the transition of the Anesthesia Inspection program to the Enforcement Bureau within DOH. The transition is still moving forward to create consistency and standardization among inspectors throughout the state. All inspections will be done by dentists, who will now be employed by the DOH, and the board will still have authority over the inspectors and the inspection process via rulemaking authority and will receive updates on the program at every BOD meeting. The Boards of Medicine and Pharmacy already have their inspections done through the Enforcement Bureau within the DOH. The BOD is extremely behind in its inspections and anticipates that moving the program to the DOH will help the inspections run more smoothly and hopefully relieve the backlog. This issue was discussed during an Anesthesia Committee conference call on May 28 at 12:30 p.m. and it will be on the agenda at the BOD meeting on Aug. 23 to allow interested parties to testify their concerns to the board.

Ms. Sissine reviewed the Rules Committee proposal to update Rule 64B5-25.002 and 003, which covers sterilization. The board did not have issues with the language, as the edits were to bring the rule in compliance with new federal guidelines, but there was concern by board counsel and staff that the economic impact would reach the threshold for legislative ratification. Thus, board counsel will research this issue and the board will discuss this item again at its August meeting.

Finally, the BOD held a rule hearing on the proposal for Restorative Function Dental Auxiliary (RFDA) for dental assistants. Various representatives from the Florida Dental Hygiene Association (FDHA) and the Florida Allied Dental Educators (FADE) spoke in opposition to the proposed rule. On a December conference call, the BOD approved the rule for dental assistants and at its February meeting, the BOD approved the following rule for dental hygienists. This rule hearing was only the proposed rule for dental assistants. After public testimony and discussion, the BOD did not change its position on the proposed rule and it will continue making its way through the rulemaking process. This rule will allow both assistants and hygienists with certain qualifications (including on-the-job trained dental assistants) to attend a program to become an RFDA. After a dentist has prepared a tooth, a dentist may delegate to a dental hygienist or dental assistant who has met the mandatory training requirements of the rule for the task of placing, packing and contouring amalgam and composite restorations and the fitting and contouring of stainless-steel crowns. However, stainless-steel crowns may not be permanently cemented by the RFDA. The FDA first proposed this type of rule to the BOD in 2011 and supports the creation of the RFDA. The FDA thanks the BOD, and specifically Ms. Angie Sissine, chair of the Rules Committee, for their hard work on this important issue.

If you have not yet attended a BOD meeting, it is suggested that you take the opportunity to attend and see the work of the BOD. It is much better to be a spectator than a participant in BOD disciplinary cases.

The next BOD meeting is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, at 7:30 a.m. EDT in Jacksonville.

Today's FDA - July/August 2019