Which States Allow RDH to use Dental Lasers in 2020?

Dental equipment

As the use of dental lasers continues to grow, understanding state regulations becomes more important than ever. That’s true for patients and practitioners alike. The dental laser is a powerful tool, and it shouldn’t be used without the right training and understanding. So which states allow RDH to use dental lasers in 2020?

State Practice Acts and Scopes of Practice

Individual states regulate their own State Practice Act (SPA) and Scope of Practice, which will determine laser use by both dentists and the hygienists using dental lasers under their license. For your convenience, we’ve assembled a list outlining which states allow hygienists to use dental lasers in 2020:

• Arkansas
• California
• Colorado
• Hawaii
• Iowa
• Kentucky
• Nevada
• New Mexico
• New York
• Tennessee
• Texas
• Utah
• Virginia
• Wisconsin
• Wyoming

States that currently prohibit laser use by dental hygienists include Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and West Virginia. The remaining states don’t have regulations on the use of lasers by dental hygienists. They’re considered No Regulation States.

Because each state sets its own standards, regulation language varies. While it’s enough for a patient to know that an RDH is legally allowed to use the dental laser, the practitioner needs to understand and stay current on the specific rules.

For example, Nevada’s SPA is very clear. It specifics that hygienists must meet curriculum guidelines for lasers, and continuing education (CE) activity requires review and approval. That means the clinician must choose laser dental courses, like those offered here at Dedicated Dental Hygiene, that meet Nevada’s standards.

In Texas, hygienists must have 12 additional hours of CE, of which three must be didactic in nature.


To learn more about what’s required in your state and whether a Dedicated Dental Hygiene class will satisfy requirements, contact us today.