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Click here to see the statutes and rules pertaining to the practice of dental hygiene in New Mexico.

NMDHA at Work For You

Did You Know...

What does NMDHA do for members?

  • NMDHA gives the NM Board of Dental Health Care input to all proposed rule changes affecting dental hygiene practice. Pending now are rules for dental therapy.

Statutory changes effected by NMDHA include:

  • Local anesthesia under general supervision
  • Limited prescriptive authority
  • Assessment for sealant application without a dental exam
  • Fluoride treatments without supervision
  • Administration of local anesthesia including under general supervision
  • General supervision
  • Self-regulation through establishment of the Dental Hygienists' Committee
  • Licensure by credentials
  • Collaborative practice
  • Medicaid provider status

It is only through membership and volunteerism that our profession has come so far.

Membership Application forms can be found on the Membership page or go to adha.org.

Dental Therapy: the Next Step

Dental therapy Bill Signing

Dental Therapy bill signing with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

On March 28, 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law HB308, establishing dental therapy. It was the culmination of many years of working with legislators, coalitions groups, the dental association and many others too numerous to mention. Special thanks to our lobbyist Debbie Maestas Traynor, hygienists throughout the state, and our bill sponsors Doreen Gallegos, Gail Armstrong, Benny Shendo and previously, Dennis Roch.

How soon will dental therapists be practicing in New Mexico? First, the rules need to be promulgated to support the statute. A subcommittee of the Board of Dental Health Care is in the process of drafting the rules. They may be viewed on the board website; comments are welcome. A public hearing is planned April 24, 2020 at which time additional comments can be submitted prior to the board making its final decision and adopting the rules.

The statute requires dental therapy educational programs in New Mexico to be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Any institution of higher education can apply for the CODA accreditation. According to CODA, the curriculum must include at least three academic years of full time instruction or its equivalent with consideration given to dental hygienists for advanced standing; thus, the length of a dental therapy program could vary depending on how the institution structures its educational program. Dental therapists in New Mexico are required to be dental hygienists.

In order for a dental therapist to perform restorations under general supervision, he or she must complete additional education of 2000 hours, or 1500 hours for a dental hygienist who has five years of experience.

More Information

Legislative Chair: legislative@nmdha.org