A bill that protects patients who undergo direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatment has passed the California legislature and is awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature.

AB 1519 aims to ensure that advancements in telehealth, as they relate to dental care, put patient safety first and that direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatment is as effective as in-person treatment.

AB 1519 extends the operation of the dental board and, among other things, establishes fundamental consumer protections for patients. Specifically, AB 1519 requires treating dentists using telehealth to provide patients with basic information, such as the dentist’s full name and state license number, similar to the requirements for brick and mortar dental practices. The bill also preserves a consumer’s ability to submit complaints about licensees to the dental board even if they have signed an arbitration clause or nondisclosure agreement. Moreover, the bill requires that dentists providing orthodontics meet the basic, accepted standard of care by reviewing recent X-rays prior to the movement of teeth. This requirement applies regardless of whether the dentist treats the patient in person or provides services through teledentistry.

The California Dental Association supports AB 1519, which was written by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell).

Newsom has until October 13, 2019 to sign the legislation.