Governor Abbott signed the bill last week which prevents the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners from banning teledentistry in the state.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott last week signed a bill formally authorizing the practice of teledentistry in the state. The law reportedly explicitly prevents the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners from banning teledentistry and brings teledentistry in line with other telemedicine practices in the state.
The bill signing comes after a lawsuit filed in February by teledentistry providers that challenged the Board of Dental Examiners’ purported ban of the practice and bipartisan calls for reform in the Texas legislature. HB 2056, filed by State Representative Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) and State Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), takes effect September 1, 2021.
According to Pacific Legal Foundation, which represented the teledentistry providers in the case, the lawsuit argued that “banning patients from talking to a dentist from the safety of their home during a pandemic isn’t about protecting public health—it’s about protecting incumbent businesses from competition and innovation.”
Joshua Polk, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, said, “This is great news for Texas citizens who will continue to have access to quality dental care from the comfort of their homes. There is a crisis in dental care access in Texas, and this legislation will go a long way in addressing that crisis. It will also allow our clients to continue operations in the state.”
Celeste Mohr, DDS, a dentist affiliated with TeleDentists, a startup company that offers 24/7 virtual dental consultations, who filed the lawsuit challenging the state ban, said, “We’ve missed helping Texans smile more confidently and we’re excited to bring back a low-cost, flexible dental alternative to our patients.”