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News & Press: Advocacy

Public Policy Advocate’s Notebook - Spring 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Steven Niethamer
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Paul A. Reggiardo, DDS, CSPD Public Policy Advocate

Acting on the findings of an analysis by the Office of Professional Examination Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Dental Board in special session April 6 voted to suspend administration of the Registered Dental Assistant practical examination as a condition of licensure. The analysis concluded that the practical examination failed to meet psychometric standards of reliability, test security and standardization while questioning also the necessity, accuracy and content validity.

The Board expects to correct the deficiencies by July 1 and to reinstitute then the practical examination. In the meantime, they are licensing RDAs without the administration of the practical examination so long as all other requirements for licensure are met.

More information may be found on the Board’s website at


Denti-Cal providers have long been frustrated when attempting to determine beneficiary eligibility in the absence of the Beneficiary Identification (BID) card or print-out. The on-line eligibility verification system (available at seems to require four pieces of information:

1.     Subscriber (Beneficiary) ID number

2.     Subscriber (Beneficiary) Date of Birth

3.     Issue Date of Eligibility

4.     Service Date

When the BID is unavailable for the new patient (or the established patient after a change in eligibility code or renewal date because of a lapse in eligibility) the absence of the first and third items seem to preclude eligibility determination. Although this information is not available in the Denti-Cal Provider Manual (which may be accessed at, there is a work-around solution. Providers may enter the patient’s social security number or Medi-Cal ID number provided by the parent in item #1 and the current calendar date and matching date of service in items #s 3 and 4. This will also work for newly-enrolled beneficiaries and children recently placed in foster care before the BID documentation is issued.


Passage last year of AB 2235 made it unprofessional conduct to fail to obtain the specific written informed consent of a patient prior to administering general anesthesia or conscious sedation. In the case of a minor dental patient that consent must contain the following information:

The administration and monitoring of general anesthesia may vary depending on the type of procedure, the type of practitioner, the age and health of the patient, and the setting in which anesthesia is provided. Risks may vary with each specific situation. You are encouraged to explore all the options available for your child’s anesthesia for his or her dental treatment, and consult with your dentist or pediatrician as needed.

This initially created a great deal of confusion. It seems a little odd to require a specific consent regarding general anesthesia when, instead, oral conscious sedation is being provided.

With that being said however, the consensus now seems to be that the law does require the specific informed consent statement even if does not apply to the procedure being provided!

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