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California VMA opposes bill allowing unlicensed performance of cosmetic dental procedures

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Legislation would let nonveterinarians conduct medical procedures, organization says.

Sacramento, Calif. — Veterinary clients and other unlicensed individuals who live in California will be able to legally perform certain cosmetic dental procedures if Assembly Bill 2304 passes.

According to the bill introduced Assembly Member Martin Garrick, the state’s definition of “dental operation” would be amended to exclude the use of “nonmotorized instruments to remove calculus, soft deposits, plaque, or stains from an exposed area of a household pet’s tooth above the gum line, provided that service is performed exclusively for cosmetic purposes and the person performing the service first obtains written permission from the person requesting the service.”

The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has announced that it strongly opposes the bill and is concerned that it could cause harm to patients and clients. The organization is asking veterinarians to contact members of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee to oppose the legislation.

The CVMA says this bill would drastically change the practice of veterinary medicine as defined in Section 4826(d) of the California Veterinary Medicine Practice Act. It reports that the new bill would:

  • Allow an unlicensed person to scale a dog or cat’s teeth without the supervision of a veterinarian.
  • Allow medical procedures to be performed in uninspected facilities.
  • Remove oversight and enforcement of medical procedures from the authority of the California Veterinary Medical Board.

The first committee hearing on the bill is expected to take place in the next several weeks, the CVMA says.

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