The bill did not require any in-person interaction or a dentist to review any x-rays prior to beginning orthodontic treatment. 

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) announced that the Ohio Senate will not move forward with hearings on an amendment to a COVID-19 relief bill related to telehealth (HB 679) that included language that would have severely weakened the state’s existing teledentistry law and dental board regulations. The amendment was tacked on to the telehealth bill in June hours before a floor vote, allowing for no opportunity for conversation ahead of the vote, according to the AAO. The original bill did not include dentistry. The amendment passed the House. 

In the 6 months following that vote, the AAO and the Ohio Association of Orthodontists (OAO) have lobbied Ohio Senate members and other government officials to explain why the teledentistry amendment was not in the best interest of the state’s citizens. 

According to the AAO, as voted on by the House, the amendment would have allowed unregulated persons to take digital photographs of teeth used for diagnosis and orthodontic treatment planning. The language reportedly also included a new definition of teledentistry, did not require any in-person interaction, established an auxiliary position of a dental scan technician, and did not require a dentist to review any x-rays prior to beginning orthodontic treatment. 

The AAO reiterated its commitment to working with the OAO to continue to advocate its Ohio members and its support for legislation that is “in the best interest of patient health and safety.”