Federal Laws for Dental Professionals

Below is information on federal laws applicable to dentistry and/or employers in Massachusetts.  

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—more commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “ObamaCare”—into law. This legislation has the potential to reshape health care in the United States. The expansion of medical insurance coverage, a move toward more integrated care delivery, and significant changes to how health care is financed are some of the main changes expected.
  • 1557 Requirements
  • New Licensing Requirements for Dentists
  • The ACA for Employers
  • The ACA for Providers

CDC Guidelines

Dental offices are required by BORID to conform to the most recent CDC recommendations for infection control as published in the CDC's "Recommended Infection Control Practices for Dentistry."

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has revised the salary threshold for employees, requiring dentists (employers) to pay overtime to full-time employees making less than $47,476.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of November 22, 2016, a federal judge from Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Labor (DOL) overtime rule, scheduled to take effect December 1. The rule would have doubled the salary threshold-from $23,660 to $47,476 per year-under which most salaried workers are guaranteed overtime, affecting how you pay some of your employees. The DOL is considering its legal options to overturn the injunction, so implementation may simply be delayed. Therefore, the MDS recommends that you ensure that you have employees properly classified under the current ruling, which is not just about salary but also about the duties your employees perform.

FDA Issues Final Rule for Ban of Most Powdered Medical Gloves

HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This Federal law has numerous regulations which affect dentists, the best known being the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

The Privacy Rule requires dentists and health care providers, as well as their business associates, to develop and follow procedures that ensure the confidentiality and security of protected health information when it is transferred, received, handled, or shared. This applies to all forms of communication, including paper, oral, and electronic.


OSHA has made changes in the Hazard Communication Standard that requires chemical manufacturers to put standardized labels on their products and to provide standardized Safety Data Sheets (formerly called a material safety data sheet, or MSDS) to purchasers, such as dental offices.