S.C. Code Regs. 39-9 - Use of Lasers in a Dental Setting
A. The requirements contained herein do not apply to the use of non-adjustable laser units used for the purposes of diagnosis and curing.
B. Only a dentist may employ a laser capable of the removal of hard and/or soft tissue in the treatment of a dental patient.
C. A dental hygienist may only use a laser under the direct supervision of a dentist, and the hygienist's use of the laser must be limited to pocket disinfection at settings that preclude hard and soft tissue removal, except for incidental gingival curettage.
D. Use of a laser:
(1) Prior to utilizing a laser, a licensee must first successfully complete training that covers, at a minimum, laser physics, safety, and appropriate use of the laser. A licensee must also complete an interactive training that addresses operation of the specific laser(s) utilized in the practice. The initial training must include a minimum of 12 hours of instruction and must be obtained through a course provided or recognized by any of the following organizations (or a successor organization):
(a) The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA);
(b) The American Dental Association (ADA) Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP);
(c) The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE); or
(d) The American Medical Association (AMA).
A dental licensee who has more than three (3) years of experience using lasers is exempt from the training requirements set forth in Reg. 39-9 provided that the three (3) years of experience is obtained prior to January 1, 2021.
(2) A licensee utilizing a laser, other than what is described in Section A, must maintain evidence of training as required herein and submit such evidence to the Board upon request.
(3) All lasers must be used in accordance with accepted safety guidelines
E. When utilizing a laser pursuant to this Section, the licensee must document the following information, at a minimum, in the patient's record:
(1) the type of laser utilized, to include the wavelength of the laser;
(2) the settings used, such as pulse or continuous wave, and the power setting;
(3) local anesthesia used, if any; and
(4) the procedure attempted/performed, including details as to whether hard or soft tissue was removed.
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