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Squeamish Colorado Dental Patients Get Drilled By Self-Interested Regulators
Date:6/17/2009

ossible for any general dentist in Colorado to provide the exact same safe and effective sedation care available in most of the country without an unreasonable investment of additional time and training expense. Such overregulation has not been proven to increase safety, but has been proven to create a barrier to access to care.

Although the details of CSBDE's newly proposed regulations are technical, Holorado contends the net result of the proposal - which will be the subject of a rulemaking hearing on July 9th in Denver - is that only expensive dental specialists will be allowed to provide even mild oral conscious sedation in the state.

That differs from the regulations in 39 other states (and all of Canada), where no negative public safety health consequences have arisen by permitting family dentists and neighborhood dentists - with extra, but not extreme additional training - to offer the popular methods of anxiety-reducing oral sedation.

"In fact, in those states that have embraced oral conscious sedation as a choice for high-anxiety patients, the number of adults who've returned to their family dentists after avoiding them for years actually has skyrocketed," notes Holorado.

Oral health is not only important for patients' comfort, appearance, and self-confidence; it has also been repeatedly demonstrated that poor oral health often contributes to other major health issues, including heart disease.

Holorado contends that the CSBDE's effort to tighten requirements in Colorado is driven primarily by specialists on the Board and in the Colorado dental community. These specialists are trying to keep the larger number of safe, family and neighborhood dentists from offering a less expensive, but equally effective (if not superior) alternative, Holorado says.

"In Colorado, the debate is not over patient safety," says a Holorado spokesperson, who notes there have been zero reports of dental
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