May 4, 1977 State Departments, Institutions and Agencies; Authority of Board of Dental Examiners to Regulate Dental Laboratories
Requested By: The Honorable W. S. Harris Member, House of Representatives
N. C. General Assembly
Question: Does the present law permit the Board of Dental Examiners to regulate dental laboratories operated by persons not licensed to practice dentistry?
- 90-29 states that no person shall engage in the practice of dentistry in this state unless they are licensed by the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners. G.S. 90-29(b) defines the practice of dentistry to include the following acts: "(8) Makes, builds, constructs, furnishes, processes, reproduces, repairs, adjusts, supplies or professionally places in the human mouth any prosthetic denture, bridge, appliance, corrective device, or other structure designed or constructed as a substitute for a natural human tooth or teeth or as an aid in the treatment of the malposition or malformation of a tooth or teeth, except to the extent the same way lawfull be performed in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 90-29.1 and 90-29.2:, . . ."
- 90-92(c) states that the following acts shall not constitute the unlawful practice of dentistry: "(11) The extraoral construction, manufacture, fabrication or repair of prosthetic dentures, bridges, appliances, corrective devices, or other structures designed or constructed as a substitute for a natural human tooth or teeth or as an aid in the treatment of the malposition or malformation of a tooth or teeth by a person or entity not licensed to practice dentistry in this State, when the same is done or performed solely upon a written work order in strict compliance with the terms, provisions, conditions and requirements of G.S. 90-29.1 and 90-29.2."
- 90-29.1 makes it clear that any person preparing prosthetic applicances will not be deemed to be engaged in he practice of dentistry so long as he or she is acting on the written work order of a licensed dentist. Persons preparing prosthetic appliances are forbidden from advertising except in accordance with G.S. 90-29.1. G.S. 90-29.2 describes the proper work order procedure.
The Board of Dental Examiners may not regulate a dental laboratory engaging in the acts described in G.S. 90-29(b) so long as that laboratory is following the advertising and work order procedures established in G.S. 90-29.1 and G.S. 90-29.2. The Board does have the authority to enter and inspect those work orders. A laboratory which did not follow those procedures would be deemed to be engaged in the unlawful practice of dentistry under G.S. 90-29(b) and in violation of G.S. 90-29.2(e).
Rufus L. Edmisten Attorney General
Catharine Biggs Arrowood Associate Attorney