The recent passage of Nevada’s AB147 bill, known as the “modernization of dentistry” bill, has brought significant changes to teledentistry regulations. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and the Nevada State Orthodontic Society (NSOS) played a role in influencing this legislation, establishing it as an industry authority and a sign of evolving times.
Clear Blue Smiles fully supports and acknowledges the AAO and NSOS for their grassroots engagement and policy influence, which led to the inclusion of landmark teledentistry language in the bill.
A comprehensive in-person examination is necessary to ensure that moving teeth is healthy and advisable. Our company was founded on that very principle, and it’s something I’ve said should be required for almost 10 years. I think this common-sense legislation will advance in other states as well because it is about protecting patients. There are other areas of healthcare, such as some prescriptions, which may be appropriate in some cases to handle purely via telemedicine. However, in dentistry and orthodontics, it just isn’t safe. Plus, many orthodontists and dentists don’t charge for diagnostic examinations anyway, so it’s not a matter of the industry ‘protecting profits’; it’s about the health and safety of patients.Kevin Dillard, CEO of Clear Blue Smiles
Enhancing Patient Health and Safety
AB147 establishes Nevada as the first state in the nation to require an in-person visit before initiating orthodontic treatment. This critical provision prioritizes patient well-being by ensuring direct contact between patients and providers. The legislation also mandates that patients have access to their treating doctor’s telephone number and other contact information, emphasizing the importance of ongoing supervision and support throughout treatment.
Protecting Patients from Mail-Order Orthodontic Concerns
Clear Blue Smiles recognizes the crucial role played by the AAO Advocacy team, NSOS, and in-state counsel Sasha Sutcliffe-Stephenson in safeguarding patient health and safety. They successfully advocated for necessary amendments to AB147, updating patient protection requirements and addressing concerns related to mail-order orthodontic companies. These efforts ensured that patient welfare remained a top priority.
Overcoming Opposition and Ensuring Passage
Despite facing strong opposition from representatives of the mail-order orthodontic industry, including SmileDirectClub, AB147 with AAO/NSOS amendments passed unanimously in the Nevada Assembly and was later approved by the Senate. Continued grassroots engagement and advocacy led by the AAO and NSOS, in collaboration with dedicated members like Dr. Frank Beglin, Dr. Mark Handelin, and Dr. John Griffiths, helped overcome obstacles and secure the bill’s passage. The support of Assemblywoman Elaine Marzola and Governor Joe Lombardo also played a pivotal role in signing AB147 into law.
Looking Ahead: Implementation and Regulation
As AB147 takes effect immediately for regulatory adoption and will be fully effective from January 1, 2024, the AAO/NSOS will actively engage with the Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners to ensure a seamless implementation process. This commitment to ongoing collaboration and support underscores the dedication of Clear Blue Smiles and its partners to maintaining patient safety and quality healthcare access.
Clear Blue Smiles commends the AAO and NSOS for their role in shaping Nevada’s teledentistry regulations through AB147. This landmark legislation highlights the changing landscape of orthodontic care, placing patient health and safety at the forefront.
We remain committed to supporting dentists and orthodontists in delivering superior care and embracing advancements that enhance the patient experience.