Dental Hygiene Legislation

By Bruce Bronoske, Jr., Dental Hygiene Program Manger

Several bills passed this legislative session which will help reduce barriers to dental hygiene licensure in Washington state.

 House Bill (HB) 1287 - Dental Hygienists is a bill which removed the 560-hour active practice requirement for dental hygienists applying for the initial limited dental hygiene license. The limited license is intended to make it easier for out-of-state dental hygienists to move to Washington state. Hygienists would be allowed to work with a limited scope of practice while they complete any education or exams that didn’t transfer from their previous state. 

HB 1466 - Dental Auxiliaries addresses additional challenges with the limited license. Like HB 1278, this bill also removed the 560-hour active practice requirement, but it goes a couple of steps further. It changed the name of the license from the initial “limited dental hygiene license” to “initial temporary dental hygiene license” and increased the term of the initial license from 18 months to 5 years. This will allow additional time for hygienists to find approved educational programs and complete required examinations to get their permanent renewable limited license.