California bill seeking to exempt cosmetic dentistry from veterinary practice dies in committee


California VMA opposed bill, saying it would remove oversight from veterinary board.

Sacramento, Calif. — A California Assembly bill that would have exempted cosmetic dentistry using nonmotorized instruments from the definition of veterinary medicine failed on April 17 to pass the Business and Professions Committee.

Assembly Bill 2304 was introduced Feb. 24 and would have altered the definition of “dental operation” to exclude the use of nonmotorized instruments—such as a scaler—to remove calculus, soft deposits, plaque or stains from an exposed area of a household pet’s tooth above the gumline. The bill would have applied only to dentistry procedures such as those performed exclusively for cosmetic purposes.

The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) opposed the bill, citing concerns that it would cause harm to patients and clients. The organization asked veterinarians to contact members of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee to oppose the legislation.

“The CVMA is grateful to all California veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians, veterinary staff, clients, and friends in the animal welfare arena who assisted in this opposition effort,” the organization states on its website. “We also thank state legislators who recognized that this bill would have resulted in consumers being misled and serious harm to household pets.”

Dr. Jay Kerr, CVMA president, commented, “We are very pleased that our voices have been heard and that current law has been upheld limiting the use of dental scalers to medical professionals.”

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