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April 9, 2024

Legislation to Boost Dental Care in Colorado Passes Committee

DENVER, CO – The House Health & Human Services Committee today passed legislation to attract dentists and dental hygienists to Colorado. SB24-010, sponsored by Majority Leader Duran,  would create an interstate compact for certain dental professionals. 

“From routine check-ups to emergency care, dental health and hygiene impacts our overall well-being,” said Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “With this interstate compact, we’re making it possible for dentists and dental hygienists licensed in another state to practice in Colorado and begin taking care of patients. I worked in the dental field for more than a decade, and this bill helps create new professional pathways for out-of-state dental professionals and improves access to critical and needed dental health care services.”

SB24-010, also sponsored by Representative Anthony Hartsook, R-Parker, passed committee by a vote of 12-0. This bill would create new professional pathways for out-of-state dentists and dental hygienists to gain licensure to practice. The "Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact" creates an agreement between Colorado and six other states where licensed dentists and dental hygienists in member states can obtain and easily transfer a license from another member state to practice dental services. The compact would be enacted as soon as seven states join it.

This legislation aims to reduce barriers for those in the dental practice by easing the state-to-state licensure process to increase dental services and access to critical health care in Colorado and would  be particularly helpful for active military and military spouses who often relocate from state-to-state.  

To participate in the compact, applicants must already be licensed dental professionals. Dentists and dental hygienists using a compact privilege to practice in Colorado must adhere to this state’s laws and regulations of practice, which are regulated by the Colorado Dental Board. SB24-010 only applies to dentists and dental hygienists, not dental assistants or expanded duty dental assistants. 

Colorado lawmakers have championed nine mobility compact laws in recent years. This list does not include 2024 mobility compact legislation currently pending before the legislature, such as HB24-1096 for school psychologists and HB24-1002 for social workers.

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