Dental hygiene practice is regulated in each state by a state dental board or dental hygiene board. The board issues licenses, disciplines licensees and makes rules detailing what licensees must do to follow the Dental Practice Act in each state.
Dental hygienists are regulated by dental boards, composed overwhelmingly of dentists. Typically, dental hygienists hold a minority of seats on the board. However, the evolution of dental hygiene regulation is well underway. Increasingly, states are creating dental hygiene committees of the dental board who are responsible for promoting rules pertaining to dental hygiene practice. The Self-Regulation chart details the states that have dental hygiene advisory committees or varying degrees of self regulation for dental hygienists.