Chapter 2Colorado Laws and Regulations

Our goal was to deliver care that works for people who have been left out of the traditional dental care system by using the oral health workforce differently.  Colorado adopted the Virtual Dental Home model to accomplish this goal. This model expands the scope of care for dental hygienists and deploys them in community settings to provide both preventive and restorative care via a telehealth connected dental team.

To facilitate implementation of the SMILES Dental Project®, the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation that expands the scope of services dental hygienists are authorized to deliver.  House Bill 15-1309 – Protective Restorations by Dental Hygienists was passed on May 6, 2015. This bill expands dental hygienists’ scope of practice to place interim therapeutic restorations (ITRs) and authorizes Medicaid and CHP+ to reimburse for this service delivered via telehealth supervision. Previously, the passage of House Bill 15-1029 (Health Care Delivery Via Telemedicine Statewide) on March 20, 2015 expanded telehealth services statewide and required insurance carriers to reimburse providers for the delivery of health care services via telehealth.

On March 22, 2018, dental hygienists’ scope of practice was further expanded by the passage of House Bill 18-1045 (Silver Diamine Fluoride), which allows dental hygienists to apply silver diamine fluoride in collaboration with a dentist.

To review these bills in detail and to learn more about the expanded scope of practice for dental hygienists, please review the included resources.