Proposed Dental Infection Control Rules Hearing – Oct. 23

Proposed Dental Infection Control Rules Hearing – Oct. 23

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) will hold a rules hearing for proposed dental infection control rules at its Friday, Oct. 23 meeting.

DQAC Business Meeting

Friday, ​Oct. 23
8:30 AM

See Agenda

The commission will hold a rules hearing during this meeting to consider adoption of rules for:

If you would like to officially testify at the meeting, please email Jennifer Santiago at by Oct. 21 to sign up. Please include the rule you plan to testify on.

Register for the webinar here. Please note: If you wish to testify or comment, you must access the meeting by the webinar link.


Proposed Infection Control Rules Background

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission (commission) filed CR102 as WSR 20-18-031 on August 27, 2020 for proposed dental infection control rules. The commission will consider final adoption at a rules hearing on October 23, 2020.

The commission originally determined to proceed with rule amendments on June 3, 2016 after responding to correspondence related to sterilization requirements. A petition for rule-making was received on July 5, 2016 requesting sterilizations of low-speed hand piece motors in WAC 246-817-620. The commission evaluated the request and determined the petition for rule-making recommendation would be considered during the collaborative rule making process. Sterilization of low-speed hand piece motors is included in the proposed rule.

The commission evaluated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings -2003 and the 2016 Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Setting –Basic Expectation for Safe Care guidelines as the basis for the proposed amendments. Case reports and public health events regarding the transmission of diseases from patient to patient, dental health care provider to patient, and patient to dental health care provider have been published that demonstrate risk that was either unrecognized in the past or new. A strong educational component is necessary to prevent disease transmission.

The proposed rule amendments incorporate many of the CDC recommendations including:

  • Written policies and procedures with annual staff training;
  • Sterilization of low-speed hand piece motors;
  • Sterilization of single use items when appropriate;
  • Storage and wrapped packages, container, or cassette requirements;
  • Identification of appropriate disinfectants;
  • High volume evacuation; and
  • Water line testing.

These rule amendments are necessary to ensure the safety of the citizens of Washington. Bacteria resistant to all antibiotics and persistent on surfaces or skin are becoming more common and more dangerous. The proposed rule amendments are based on science, research, and best industry practice. As of 2019, thirty state dental boards already require that dental health care providers follow the CDC guidelines, it is reasonable for Washington state licensed dentists and dental health care providers to follow these well-tested guidelines for infection control and prevention in the dental practice setting.

Read Proposed Rules