Regulatory Information & Agencies

Regulations are a big part of the health care provider world and dentists must be informed of certain rules and requirements as well as follow them for the well being of their patients.

The information provided is intended to not only inform dentists of important dental related regulations, but to also assist dentists with helpful resources that provide additional reference materials.

Amalgam Waste - ADA Best Management Practices

Concern about the effects of mercury in the environment has increased over the years. Dental amalgam waste can be recycled to help prevent the release of mercury into the environment. The ADA provides dentists with Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste for handling and disposal as well as updates on federal mandates and requirements.

The MDA encourages all Mississippi dentists to be good stewards of our environment by implementing these best management practices.
In Mississippi, there are no additional regulations to the federal mandates regarding amalgam waste.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has developed this Best Management Practices sheet for dentists in our state.


Antitrust laws apply to a wide array of dental issues ranging from dealing with third party payers, establishing fees, and more. Since violations of the antitrust laws can lead to criminal and/or civil penalties, individual dentists, study clubs and dental societies are well served by having a basic understanding of those laws.

The particular antitrust law that is usually most relevant to dentistry prohibits contracts, combinations and conspiracies in restraint of trade. The ADA provides information to help dentists understand and avoid potential antitrust violations. They have also developed Antitrust Laws in Dentistry: A Primer of DOs, DONTs and HOW TOs for Dentists and Dental Societies to assist dentists. The antitrust primer is available in PDF and can be downloaded.   

Dental Licensure - The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners

The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners (MSBDE) is a legislatively-mandated state regulatory agency charged with the responsibilities of examining, licensing, registering, and regulating the practices of dentistry and dental hygiene to ensure competency (through examination and licensure) and ethics (through registration and regulation) among all dental professionals in the State of Mississippi for the ultimate goal of safeguarding and enhancing the health and welfare of the citizens of this State. As such, the Board is neither affiliated with nor functions as a subsidiary of any private or professional organization.

For Mississippi Dental Laws and Regulations, you can reference the MSBDE website.  
Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners
600 East Amite Street, Suite 100  
Jackson, MS 39201-2801 

Health Care Reform

The ADA is dentistry's leading advocate in health care reform in our country. Dentists can easily access information and updates on the ADA website

The ADA Health Policy Institute is also a great resource for dental specific publications about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the dental care system. 

An "easy to understand" chart is provided by NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) regarding the provisions under the 2009 HCR Act.

HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires all health plans, including ERISA, health care clearinghouses and any dentist who transmits health information in an electronic transaction, to use a standard format. Those plans and providers that choose not to use the electronic standards can use a clearinghouse to comply with the requirement. Providers' paper transactions are not subject to this requirement.

HIPAA Privacy and HIPAA Security address the two distinct parts of HIPAA, which impose separate regulatory requirements.

Your approach to HIPAA Security, including how you staff compliance efforts, may vary greatly from how you handled HIPAA Privacy. The ADA has ​gathered information and developed materials which can be referenced and purchased to aid the dental office team in HIPAA awareness and compliance. ​ 

​The MDA has ​worked with Laney Kay, an attorney from Marietta, Georgia who is an expert in dental regulatory topics. Ms. Kay has provided training programs for our dentists an addition to the easy to reference and concise regulation information that she offers on her website. She provides excellent HIPAA articles and forms for dentists to review and utilize. 

Infection Control

Universal precautions are safety procedures established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Dental Association. They are used for each and every patient to prevent the transmission of the AIDS virus and other infectious diseases.

These precautions require all dental staff involved in patient care to use appropriate protective garb such as gloves, and sometimes masks and eyewear. After each patient visit, the gloves are discarded, hands are washed and a new pair of gloves is used for the next patient.

Dentists can reference information on Infection Control in Dental Settings on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

The ADA also provides a list of multiple infection control related topics and resources.

A great reference article for dentists: Real World Infection Control by Laney Kay, JD,MPH

Red Flags Rule - Fighting Identity Theft

Although the ADA was successful in their attempts to have dental offices exempted from the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Red Flags Rules, dentists still need to be familiar with the rules and to also be cautious when it comes to identity theft red flags.

Information about the Red Flags Rule and A How-To Guide for Business is available on the FTC website.

Some practical examples of identity theft red flags include:
• Altered patient dental insurance cards, 
• Dental insurance card info that does not match the patient record,
• Patient address that does not agree with the dental insurance company info,
• Undelivered patient mail or patient returned checks,
• A patient using someone else’s credit card,
• A patient unwilling to share personal information,
• Verifying dental benefits is part of most office’s daily routine, but also verifying the identification of the patient. 

Employee training in this area is also a must. Although the following are normal business practices, employee training is key to being assured the procedures are implemented within your dental practice.

The employee training should cover:
• Any violation of the patient’s identity could result in possible monetary fines imposed by the FTC against your dental practice,
• Negative public relations/press coverage,
• Protection of patients’ identity through the protection of their information contained within their patient chart,
• Verify, verify, verify a patient’s identity (request a copy of his or her driver’s license),
• Refuse to treat the patient if the patient is using someone else’s identity,
• Employees should sign an acknowledgment of the training your office provides for protecting patients’ identity,
• Turn the matter over to authorities if the situation warrants.


OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Congress created OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. The ADA makes available a wealth of resources to help dentists understand and comply with existing OSHA standards.

The ADA also has an OSHA Training and Compliance Kit available for purchase.

A Guide to Compliance with OSHA Standards is available on the OSHA website.

Laney Kay, JD, MPH, an expert in dental regulatory topics, provides excellent OSHA information and forms on her website. The MDA has worked with Ms. Kay to provide training programs for our dentists. The fact that she is married to a dentist and very familiar with the dental clinic setting gives her a unique and valuable perspective when it comes to OSHA compliance.  
See the list below for agency contact information: