Dental hygienist bill awaiting Governor's signature

Wednesday, June 5th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A bill that could change dental laws in Oklahoma is awaiting Governor Keating's signature.

House bill 1029 would allow dental hygienists to care for the poor, the elderly and children in need of treatment, outside of the dentist's office. Oklahoma is the only state in the country where this type of service is prohibited.

For one professional favoring the bill, Bonnie Flanagan, dental hygienist, says it's legislation that comes down to one healthy reason. "Prevention. To keep the costs down first of all and pain. We see kids that studied now with teeth just totally decayed down to the gum line."

If the bill wins the governor's approval, dental hygienists would be required to work in a private dental practice. They would also be required to undergo special training before helping others in need on the outside.