DENTAL BILL: Would Mandate Training, Registration For Dentists
A child's death in Santa Ana related to a dentist's improper administration of a sedative "may lead to a new state law requiring dentists to take classes and register with the dental board," the Orange County Register reports. State Assemblyman Fred Keeley (D-Santa Cruz) "said he will introduce legislation within the next two weeks." He said, "I want to make sure that we can avoid the kinds of problems that appear to have led to at least one death in California, perhaps others." The Register reports that "[s]ome members of the dental board say the bill will increase safety, but others say it was 'gutted' by dental interests." Currently, the state has "no education requirements for dentists who want to use chloral hydrate, a sedative used to calm patients before dental ... procedures." Chloryl hydrate has been associated with the deaths of four California children since 1991, according to Dr. Peter Hartmann, a former president of the California Board of Dental Examiners.
Time To Take Action?
A bill that was drafted in October by the state Dental Board would have required "that dentists demonstrate their skill with chloryl hydrate," have the necessary equipment to monitor the breathing of patients under sedation and undergo in-office monitoring. However, that draft drew objections from the California Dental Association, which submitted its own proposal that contained none of these requirements. Elizabeth Snow, a spokesperson for the California Dental Association said, "We were trying to strengthen (protections) without becoming so overburdensome that people would stop providing care in that area" (Nicolosi, 2/12).