Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Dentistry
Regulations Governing the Practice of Dentistry [18 VAC 60 ‑ 21]
Action Training and supervision of digital scan technicians
Comment Period Ended on 3/31/2021
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3/31/21  10:05 pm
Commenter: Albert L. Kelling DDS

Intra-oral Scans Do Not Stand Alone

An intra-oral scan can not learn the patients's chief complaint, can not get a medical and dental history, can not examine the whole mouth, most of which is soft tissue and can not  assemble a comprehensive problem list and discover any and all oral pathology. While an intra-oral scan can lend to gathering this information, it does not stand alone and can not be verified as accurate without expert analysis. 

Any intra-oral scan must be performed within the context of gathering all the necessary information to provide the patient options for treatment, implications of doing nothing, and the expert professional recommendation on what the dentist believes is in the patient's best interest.  These are the requirements for practicing dentistry.  Accordingly, the gathering of an intra-oral scan must be performed under the direct supervision of a practicing dentist who can assure the accuracy of the scan through direct intra-oral examination and then bring together all the necessary information, as noted above, to form the full context in which the intra-oral scans may be made relevant.  Any intra-oral scan, without this full context, is, at best, meaningless and could provide a basis to bring economic and/or physical harm to the patient.  An intra-oral scan, by itself, does not serve the best interests of the patient. 

CommentID: 97680