ADEA State Update

Texas Sunset Commission Files Bill to Implement Changes to the Texas Board of Dental Examiners

(State Policy, Dental Health, Licensure, Opioid Abuse, Oral Health, Prescription Drug Abuse, Public Health) Permanent link   All Posts

TSBDEThe Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) is subject to abolishment on Sept. 1, 2017, under the Texas Sunset Act, unless continued by the Texas legislature. In January 2017, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, after receiving public testimony on its original report outlining changes to the TSBDE, released a second report revising its recommendations.[1]

On March 6, two bills were filed that would implement changes to the TSBDE as proposed by the Commission: HB 2990, sponsored by Commission member state Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-TX), and companion bill SB 313, sponsored by Commission member state Sen. Schwertner, M.D., (R-TX) along with four other cosponsors. On April 3, the Committee on Health and Human Services approved CSSB 313 by a unanimous vote. The legislation, as amended, addresses policy issues differently from current law by proposing the following:


  • Continuing the TSBDE for 12 years.
  • Reducing the size of the TSBDE from 15 to 11 members.

Dental Assistants

  • Prohibiting a dental assistant, unless the dental assistant is properly registered, from making a dental x-ray or monitoring the administration of nitrous oxide.


  • Authorizing the TSBDE to conduct risk-based inspections of dentists administering anesthesia in office settings.
  • Clarifying the TSBDE’s authority to regulate parenteral—or intravenous—anesthesia, in addition to enteral—or oral—anesthesia.
  • Establishing permits for the administration of nitrous oxide and four levels of sedation or anesthesia and requiring TSBDE to establish minimum standards, education, and training for permit holders.
  • Defining pediatric and high-risk patients and requiring additional training on anesthesia administration for those patients.
  • Requiring the TSBDE to ensure that dentists with an anesthesia permit maintain written emergency management plans and establish minimum emergency preparedness standards before administering anesthesia.
  • Creating a standing advisory committee on dental anesthesia to analyze data and trends concerning anesthesia-related incidents.

Prescription Drug Monitoring

  • Requiring the TSBDE to query the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program for potentially harmful prescribing patterns among its licensees.
  • Requiring dentists to review a patient’s prescription history before prescribing certain drugs.

Licensing and Other Issues

  • Providing more detailed language on structure and conduct of informal proceedings.
  • Creating a dental review committee consisting of nine governor-appointed members to serve at informal settlement conferences on a rotating basis.
  • Updating licensing and enforcement processes that have not kept up with best practices.

[1] Sunset works by setting a date on which an agency is abolished unless the Legislature passes a bill to continue it. Sunset staff evaluates the agency and issues recommendations for positive change. The Commission considers the recommendations, hears public testimony and decides on a package of changes to bring to the full Legislature.

Duggan Dental