Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5636

Special Act No. 04-7

AN ACT CONCERNING ORAL HEALTH CARE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective July 1, 2004) (a) The Commissioner of Public Health shall establish an ad hoc committee for the purpose of assisting the commissioner in examining and evaluating possible statutory changes that would improve (1) access to oral health care, particularly by persons who are underinsured, uninsured or on Medicaid, and (2) the quality of oral heath care. The committee shall hold its first meeting not later than July 15, 2004. The committee shall focus on examining statutory changes that would meet the goals of improving access to and quality of oral health care by facilitating the use of dental hygienists as midlevel providers in public settings, considering the administration of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide by dental hygienists, expanding the functions of dental assistants, requiring continuing education for dentists, revising the definition of dentistry, considering a post-graduate year as an alternative to an examination as a requirement for licensure for dentists. Other topics may be included at the discretion of the commissioner.

(b) (1) The ad hoc committee shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall consist of (A) two members of the Department of Public Health, (B) four dentists recommended by the Connecticut Dental Association, one of whom works in private practice, one of whom works in a public practice, one of whom is an educator and one of whom is a maxillofacial surgeon, (C) four dental hygienists recommended by the Connecticut Dental Hygienists Association, one of whom works in private practice, one of whom works in a public practice, one of whom is an educator and one of whom works in a school-based dental setting, and (D) a representative from a regionally accredited institution of higher education that offers a program for dental assistants. The Commissioners of Public Health and Social Services, or their designees shall be ex-officio members with full voting rights.

(2) The Commissioner of Public Health may expand the membership of the ad hoc committee to include representatives from related fields if the commissioner decides such expansion would be useful.

(c) On or before December 1, 2004, the Commissioner of Public Health shall submit, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, the results of the examination, with specific recommendations for statutory changes, to the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health.

Approved May 21, 2004