Can a Dental Hygienist Buy a Dental Practice?

Everyone has the dream of stepping out of their nine to five and pursuing something more, such as starting their own business. The goal is shared by many dental hygienists that have mastered their craft and want to take things to the next level. Unfortunately, this is not always possible for their profession. In the United States, dental hygienists do not have the option of running an independent practice in most states. Licensed dentists have the right to own and run a dental practice, while other roles, such as dental hygienists and assistants, can only work in those practices. However, some states do not follow such legislation. The state of California is one of them, and it provides a way for dental hygienists to run their own dental hygiene practice.

How Can a Dental Hygienist Work Without a Dentist?

This might give hope to many dental hygienists that have been thinking about purchasing a practice and working on their own terms. However, it is not as straightforward as we would expect. In order for a dental hygienist to start a private practice, he needs to start a professional corporation. This was introduced on January 1, 2016 by the Moscone-Knox Professional Corporation Act Sections 13401 and 13401.5, which state that all Registered Dental Hygienists in Alternative Practice (RDHAP) can open their own professional corporations.

This change was inspired by the lack of access that many had to dental care. After years of struggling with such issues, policymakers decided to make a radical change. They set about to redesign the workforce and improve access to dental care. While it is regarded as extreme by many for its alteration from the traditional organization of dental services, it is showing decent results.

Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice Corporation

A Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice (RDHAP) Corporation is a corporation that provides RDHAP services and is registered with the California Secretary of State. The duties dental hygienists can perform are limited to their specific field. Laws and regulations define everything that a dental hygienist can do. The Business and professions Code Sections 1900-1966.6 define the level of dentist supervision required for specific duties, duties dental hygienists can perform, and the setting in which these duties can be carried out. Not abiding by these regulations and laws is a criminal offense that has grounds for license discipline of both the individual breaking the law and the person who aids and abets the activity.

California is making an effort to expand the possibilities of dental hygienists, and in turn, make proper dental care more available to the public. Many people support the idea of dental hygienists having the opportunity of buying and running their own dental hygiene practice because many people in the United States are struggling with finding the right dental practice. Some legislators see the potential that dental hygienists have in offering that service. They are ready, willing, and able to step in and offer their services.