Joey R asked in HealthDental · 1 decade ago

Is a dental hygienist allowed to drill on teeth?

I went to the dentist about 2 weeks ago for a filling. THe dentist drilled the cavity out then the dental hygienist told the Dr. that she could do the filling. He left the room and then she said she thought she saw some more "staind" on my teeth. So she took the drill and started drilling more. I Have been in so much pain the past two weeks. A few days ago I went back and they said they would adjust my "bite" by drilling down some becasue evidently she drill down enough. I"m still in pain and yesterday they told me I would need a root canal.

I asked another dental hygienist at another dentist office and she said that they weren't allowed to drill she though. Or at least they aren't suppose to there. SHe said I could probably file a lawsuit against the dentist to cover time I missed from work and when I go to a different dentist next week (becasue I won't be going back to the other guy) to keep up with charges an things. PLease someone answer who is qualified to do so. THank you,

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I'm a dentist.

    I do know that some states allow hygienists to administer local anesthesia (which I think is a terrible idea) and perform some other expanded duties. I do know that some states allow assistants to place fillings. Using the drill, however, is solely the doctor's privilege. To my knowledge, no one else has the authority to do so in any U.S. state.

    Keep in mind that it's entirely possible, in fact, it's likely that the doctor was unaware of the hygienist's actions. As a doctor myself, I'd go apesh*t if I found out a hygienist second-guessed my clinical judgment AND proceeded to modify my work. She'd be out on her *** before she could say "tooth". The vast majority of doctors would see it the same way.

    There are two ways you can handle this:

    1. You can simply report it to your state's board of health professions and let them investigate it. or

    2. You can address it directly with the doctor himself.

    If you choose the latter, you'll likely make life easier for yourself (and the doctor, of course), and still have the option of reporting it to the proper authorities for investigation should the need exist.

    I'd choose option #2, and I'm not just saying this because I'm a doctor.

  • Paul K
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The hygienist is absolutely not allowed to drill. I does not matter how many times she watched. I would even question the fact that she filled it. Get a lawyer. At the very least, they owe you a root canal from another dentist and time lost from work.

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on the state. Unless you give the state you are in and you get a dental professional on here to answer you, then you are not going to get good advice. I am sorry if that offends anyone else who answered, but I have been in the dental field for 10 years and I can not tell you how much bad dental advice that I see average people on here giving everyday.

    I have to question whether this was actually a hygienist, but actually an assistant. The hygientist in my office never assists on fillings. But if it was one, in some states they can actually give shots, so like I said, you didn't give enough info to get a correct answer.

    Source(s): Dental assistant for 10 yrs
  • 1 decade ago

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! The job of a dental hygienist is to clean teeth and instruct patients on proper oral hygiene. THAT IS IT! I work for a dentist and this is illegal. I would report that dentist to the dental board for the state you live in. The only person allowed to drill on teeth is the dentist.

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  • 1 decade ago

    it is generally against the LAW for a hygenist to "drill" in to anything, however packing filling material is not against the law. what probably happened was by having your filling to high you may have bruised the nerve and casued some damage, this is why Dr,'s are the only ones that preform dental work... good luck with the new guy

    Source(s): dental assistant
  • 1 decade ago

    RDH can fill teeth if they have completed an expanded functions course. They can also administer local anesthesia. They can NOT use a high speed drill. You should contact the Board of Dentistry in your state to find out their rules.

    Source(s): Myself, I'm an RDH.
  • 1 decade ago

    I do not know the laws on expanded functions in all 50 states, but I have never heard of any law that permits an auxilliary to perform an irreversible procedure, which includes drilling. In my opinion, this must be illegal.

  • 1 decade ago

    Oh my gosh, NO! That is so horrible, I am sorry you went through that. Sue them, seriously.

    I agree with Ilhenley. Report that dentist either way. He is in serious breach of ethics and professional responsibility.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You are paying him for the work ,not his hygienist. Report that office to ADA.org

  • 1 decade ago

    You should go see a lawyer who specializes in malpractice because each state has different laws and they would have the best information for you. You probably don't want law advice from the internet, everyone has their own opinion.

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