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Click here to see the statutes and rules pertaining to the practice of dental hygiene in New Mexico, including, but not limited to Prescriptive Authority and the use of LASERS.

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. Most recently, this included rules regarding the use of lasers by dental hygienists and collaborative practice. Pending now are rules for mobile dental clinics and non-dentist owners.

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

NMDHA also contributed to earlier gains:

  • Administration of local anesthesia
  • General supervision
  • Self-regulation
  • Licensure by credentials
  • Collaborative practice
  • Medicaid provider status

It is only through membership and volunteerism that your profession has come so far and it is only through membership and volunteerism that your profession can continue to move forward.

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

New Statute Provisions Now in Effect

On April 7, 2011, Governor Martinez signed into law House Bill 187, “Expanded- Function Dental Auxiliaries”. The new provisions in the statute and rules are now in effect.

In summary, the new provisions in the statute are as follows:

  1. Created a Community Dental Health Coordinator* (a combination community health worker/expanded function dental assistant or hygienist) who can
    • place temporary and sedative restorative material in unexcavated carious lesions and unprepared tooth fractures;
    • collect and transmit diagnostic data and images via telemetric connection;
    • dispense and apply medications on the specific order of a dentist;
    • provide limited palliative procedures for dental emergencies in consultation with a supervising dentist as allowed by the rules of the board;
    • works under general supervision in settings other than traditional dental office or clinic; provides educational, preventive, limited palliative and assessment services;
  2. Expanded the dental hygiene scope of practice to include (if allowed by employer):
    • Administration of local anesthesia under general supervision requires certification. To apply for general supervision for local anesthesia, click here for the Affidavit of Local Anesthesia Administration form, follow the directions carefully, and return the form to the listed address.
    • Dental hygiene focused assessment
    • Limited prescriptive authority
    • Assessment and application of sealants without a dentist’s examination
  3. A Teledentistry provision
  4. Created an Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary* (Assistant or Dental Hygienist) who can, under direct supervision
    • Take final impressions, excluding those for fixed or removable prosthetics involving multiple teeth;
    • Fit and shape stainless steel crowns on primary teeth, to be cemented by a licensed dentist;
    • Place and shape direct restorations;
    • Cement indirect and provisional restorations for temporary use;
    • Place temporary and sedative restorative material in hand excavated carious lesions and unprepared tooth fractures;
    • recement temporary or permanent crowns with temporary cement under general supervision in a situation that a licensed dentist deems it to be an emergency;
    • remove orthodontic cement
  5. Acceptance of all regional board exams for New Mexico licensure.
  6. Allows a Public Service license for dental residents.
  7. Provides for a temporary (3 day limit) public service license for dentists or dental hygienists involved in a charitable dental care project for which they receive no remuneration, sponsored by a non-profit organization.

Click here to see the new statute and rules.

More Information

Legislative Chair

NMDHA Lobbyist