Marucha: Lawmakers must be cautious about dental therapy legislation

Dr. Phillip Marucha

As a dentist and dental educator, my life has been dedicated to advancing oral health care. With this background, I believe it is my duty to call attention to a bill working its way through the Oregon legislature — a bill that, as written, may lead to a different standard of care for our most vulnerable patients.

At issue is House Bill 2528. If adopted, the bill would create a new type of dental service provider in Oregon called a "dental therapist." Under the bill, these new providers could provide an oral diagnosis and perform procedures currently reserved for licensed dentists, including tooth extractions, fillings, temporary crowns and pulpotomies.