Office of Oral Health in the works

New bill would establish an office to address poor dental care in California

Legislators at the Assembly Committee on Health voted unanimously to establish a statewide Office of Oral Health in an effort to combat poor dental care for California’s children.

Senate Bill 694, authored by Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), includes a hotly debated provision for a study on provider alternatives in rural and underserved areas, according to California Healthline.

Opponents of the study maintain it focuses on the surgical or treatment dental model rather than a less expensive preventive approach, and believe the study would result in the creation of an unnecessary second tier of non-dentists that would supply supportive surgical services.

“We think not only will there be savings to the state, but this bill could bring more money to the state, because the state office could compete better for federal funding,” Padilla said.