CE Requirements for Tennessee Dental Offices

by Olivia Wann, JD

As we approach the end of the year, please be sure your entire team has satisfied continuing
education (CE) requirements. The Board of Dentistry requires strict compliance. Additionally, verify that the dental licenses are current. Failure to maintain a current license is a costly mistake that has a negative impact on your team member and you.

Display the dental licenses in a conspicuous place as required by the board. In this manner, you can ascertain that the licenses are current. Calendar the renewal dates to ensure that there is no lapse. Otherwise, maintain a spreadsheet with everyone’s names and renewal dates.

We have had a number of calls inquiring about the Chemical Dependency courses. The following information was obtained from the Tennessee Board of Dentistry and should provide your team clarity on Tennessee’s requirements.

Dentists are required to fulfill 40 hours of CE during the two calendar year cycle * and keep a current C.P.R. card at all times. A minimum of 2 of the required 40 biennial hours must be obtained in the area of prescribing of controlled substances education which includes instruction in the TN Chronic Pain Guidelines. Additionally, dentists who hold a Limited Conscious Sedation, Comprehensive Conscious Sedation or Deep Sedation/General Anesthesia permit must also complete a minimum of 4 hours of the required 40 biennial hours in the subject of sedation and/or anesthesia. Permit holders must also maintain current ACLS certification (PALS can be substituted if a pediatric dentist).

Dental hygienists must fulfill 30 hours of CE during the calendar cycle* and keep a current C.P.R. card at all times. A minimum of 2 of the 30 biennial hours must be obtained in the area of chemical dependency education. Hygienists cannot obtain more than 50% of their CE via online or web-based. This does not apply to dentists or dental assistants.

Dental assistants must fulfill 24 hours of CE during the calendar cycle* and keep a current C.P.R. card at all times. A minimum of 2 of the required 24 biennial hours must be obtained in the area of chemical dependency education.

The confusion has been associated with the difference between dentists’ and hygienists/assistants’ chemical dependency training. Note that dentists are required to have training on TN Chronic Pain Guidelines. These guidelines were recently updated. Effective July 1, 2018, prescribers must adhere to the new limits and specific requirements for opioid prescribing. The Tennessee Dental Association has chemical dependency CE available at http://cms35.icglink.net/General_Info/CE_Online/.

We also offer chemical dependency training to include the TN Chronic Pain Guidelines. We discuss Drug-Free Tennessee program requirements. This program is currently taught live onsite. Some offices add this course to OSHA and/or HIPAA annual training. We plan to offer this program online soon.

As a side note, our monthly Advanced Safety Manager Courses at our office in Dover, Tennessee, have been a success! If you are an RDA, RDH, DDS, or manager serving as Safety Manager for your practice, this comprehensive 6-hour course is designed especially for you. Bring your OSHA manuals and materials. We will train you on how to use your materials and what to look for to prevent violations. Lunch will be provided.

This intensive program is limited to 6 participants per date, so reserve your seat early. You will
receive a course handbook, 6 CEUs, and a Safety Manager certificate for successful completion of the course. Cost is $349 per attendee and only $249 per attendee for subscribing clients.

We are also in the process of completing our Advanced HIPAA Course for those serving as Security Officer and/or Privacy Officer for their practice. Organized very similarly to the Advanced Safety Manager Course described above, this course is also limited to 6 participants per date.

For course dates, more information, and registration contact Heather Miller,
heather@oliviawann.com or (931) 232-7738.

I am also pleased to let you know that I will be presenting courses at the 2019 Tennessee Dental Association meeting, the American Dental Association annual meeting, and at the Hinman Dental Meeting. I hope to see you at one of these events. We appreciate the opportunity to keep your practice up to date and in compliance.

*Note: Two Calendar Year Cycle: January 1 of an odd year – December 31 of an even year

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