ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released comments on the proposed legislation that would expand the settings under which Georgia dental hygienists are allowed to provide preventative care without the direct supervision of a dentist.

Georgia House Bill 684 “would likely enhance competition in the provision of preventive dental care services and thereby benefit Georgia consumers, particularly underserved populations with limited access to preventive care,” said the staff of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Economics.

As it stands under Georgia law, dental hygienists usually work under direct supervision of a licensed dentist. This means a dentist must be physically present where services are performed. Dental hygienists usually are unable to work in rural or underserved areas where dentists are scarce.

House Bill 684 would align Georgia’s supervision requirements with other states. The FTC staff comments conclude that fewer restrictions could enhance competition in the provision of preventative care services and expand access to care.

The FTC voted 4-0 to issue the staff comment.

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