This is the first of many bills we expect to see this legislative session that will affect Dentistry. This bill was written and introduced by Sen. Jane Nelson.
Dental Patient Protection: SB 151 strengthens the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners' ability to ensure that dental treatment is directed solely by licensed dentists, not by corporate entities. It requires dental service organizations (DSOs) to register with the Board and prohibits them from interfering with dentists' treatment decisions. It also allows the Board to impose administrative penalties and take disciplinary action against a DSO found in violation of the Texas Dental Practice Act. Before performing dental treatment on a child, SB 151 requires that a dentist inform the child's parent or guardian that they have the option to be present in the treatment room, and it prohibits a dentist from performing the dental treatment or procedure without the parent or guardian present if they desire to be in the treatment room. Currently, DSOs are not subject to any state regulation. "We need to ensure that these organizations are accountable to the Board and, more importantly, that they are not substituting their judgment for that of our trained, licensed dentists. No child should undergo complicated, painful procedures without a parent being involved at every point in the process. These types of entities have been involved in some of the illegal and, quite candidly, outrageous actions involving the enticement of children to undergo costly and oftentimes unnecessary procedures at the taxpayer's expense."