Texas Dentists: Title 22 Extended, Requires Respirators

ST Roundal

Texas Dentists: Title 22 Extended, Requires Respirators


Untitled design (17)

Texas State Board of Dental Examiners Extends Rule

Texas dentists: Title 22 was extended. The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) voted to extend the COVID-19 Emergency Rule, or Title 22. The Rule extension began on February 19th and will remain in effect until June 18th, 2021. Even if you knew Title 22 by heart before this extension, Title 22 was amended

Several previous requirements were removed, including:

  • The removal of magazines, reading materials, toys, and other objects that may be touched by others;
  • COVID-19 patient screening by phone during scheduling. Patients must still be screened during patient confirmation prior to appointment;
  • Prohibition of patient companions. Companions should continue to be screened for COVID-19 during patient check-in;

Additionally, a pre-procedure rinse is no longer recommended.

The most important requirement was left intact: N95, KN95 masks, or their substantial equivalent are still required for all dental health care personnel (DHCP) who will be within six feet of any and all procedures likely to involve aerosols.

Why is Texas Title 22 important? The OSHA respiratory protection standard.

If any of your employees wear respirators, your practice is required to implement a written Respiratory Protection Program. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is the organization that enforces the respiratory protection standard.

Smart Training creates resources to help dental practices understand how to be compliant with OSHA’s respiratory protection standard. Here are some of the resources we have created:

If you prefer to watch and listen, rather than read, check out our Dental Respiratory Protection Program Webinar. It is presented by Smart Training’s Vice President of Healthcare, Lee Slaton. It was recorded and posted, so you can watch it whenever you find time.

The law is not optional.

I can’t say often enough that dental practices using N95 and/or KN95s are required to have a written Respiratory Protection Program (RPP) in place. The program must include a designated plan administrator, a written plan document, documented training, medical evaluations, and fit testing. None of these are optional.

The reason I’ve been a broken record regarding the use of respirators is we’re seeing a less than 50% compliance rate in Texas, to the detriment of a dental practice’s employees, patients, and the practice. Dental practices are being heavily fined for ignoring these requirements; including a single-location practice fined over $24,000.

Misinformation surrounding the requirement is robust. Dental Facebook groups are awash with comments from clinicians who work in offices not using respirators, much less that are concerned with having an RPP in place. If you think your staff or patients don’t notice, think again. In January and February, OSHA opened 15 investigations of dental practices. 12 (80%) of those investigations were the result of complaints, which typically come from employees or ex-employees but also come from patients.

Need help with your Respiratory Protection Program?

Texas dentists, Title 22 was extended. This means you need to comply with the OSHA respiratory protection standard. Smart Training has developed the easiest and most efficient way to create and implement your Respiratory Protection Program. You’ll take a 15-minute survey to create your program. We’ll also provide respirator training modules for both employees and administrators. Your Compliance Adviser will be there to help you every step of the way.

Request a demonstration here to speak with one of our Compliance Advisers. We take away your headaches caused by Title 22 and help you comply with OSHA.

We appreciate you, Texas dentists!

Smart Training
820 W Spring Creek Pkwy, Ste 400-R Plano, Tx 75023