BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Rep. Jean-Paul Coussan, R-Lafayette, thinks his state’s dentistry laws are too strict. And colleagues in the Louisiana House agreed Wednesday evening.

They unanimously passed and sent to the Senate two bills that “loosen up” what Coussan says are unnecessary requirements for hygienists who simply clean your teeth and what retired dentists are permitted to do.

Anyone who performs dentistry in Louisiana must be licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry (LSBD).

House Bill 209 by Coussan would exempt students in LSBD-approved dental hygiene schools from that requirement so long as registered dentists are supervising and guiding those students.

House Bill 210, also by Coussan, gives more freedom in where and how retired dentists can continue to practice.

Under state law, LSBD can only give retired volunteer dentists a special license if they practice in a healthcare clinic. Coussan said no one is currently utilizing this system. HB210 would let retired dentists practice anywhere so long as they are meeting LSBD requirements.

HB210 also repeals the requirement that retired dentists practice at least eight hours a month and a provision that revokes volunteer dentists’ licenses if they cannot find another position within 90 days after their healthcare facility permanently closes.

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