Report Title:

Dentistry; Licensing



Authorizes board of dental examiners to issue A 3-yr temporary license to otherwise qualified dentist to practice dentistry under a "safety net dental provider organization" without examination, if the dentist graduated from an accredited dental school, holds a current license in another US state or territory and has no disciplinary actions pending. (HB2845 HD1)


H.B. NO.



H.D. 1






relating to dental licensing.



SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii has a considerable number of residents with unmet oral health needs. Our children have some of the worst rates of dental caries and baby bottle tooth decay in the nation. The unmet dental treatment needs of Native Hawaiian, Southeast Asian, Filipino, and Pacific Islander children range between forty and sixty-three per cent.

The legislature further finds that, although Hawaii has a large number of practicing dentists, it has one of the lowest national participation rates in the Medicaid program. This results in serious access barriers to children covered by Medicaid or QUEST.

The legislature further finds that over three hundred thousand Hawaii residents have no dental insurance and little money to pay for dental care. Moreover, low-income adults enrolled in Medicaid or QUEST do not have coverage for basic dental care. Elders covered by Medicare also do not receive dental benefits. Hawaii's Prepaid Health Care Act does not require employer—sponsored health plans to offer dental benefits.

The legislature further finds that neighbor island communities have the greatest oral health disparities, highest ratios of residents who are uninsured or covered by Medicaid or QUEST, and the lowest ratio of dentists to population.

The legislature further finds that safety net dental providers are critically important to address Hawaii's unmet oral health needs, but these safety net providers, especially on neighbor islands, have difficulty providing adequate incentives to recruit dentists as employees or volunteers.

The legislature further finds that relaxing Hawaii's dental licensing provisions for dentists working or volunteering for safety net dental providers is a powerful means to assist safety net dental providers in recruiting dentists while not compromising the quality of dental care available in the State of Hawaii.

SECTION 2. Section 448-12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) The board of dental examiners may issue without examination to any resident or nonresident otherwise qualified to be examined a temporary license to practice dentistry in the employment of the State or any county, or any legally incorporated eleemosynary dispensary or infirmary, private school, or welfare center[.] or to practice dentistry solely under the auspices of a safety net dental provider organization provided:

(1) The dentist graduated from an accredited dental school;

(2) The dentist holds a current, valid, and unencumbered license in another state or territory of the United States; and

(3) There are no disciplinary actions pending or other unresolved complaints against the dentist in any state or territory of the United States.

The temporary license shall authorize the person to whom the license is issued to practice dentistry exclusively while engaged in that employment [and]. A temporary license may be granted for a period of three years, which may be renewed. The temporary license shall be in force until the earliest of the following occurs:

(1) The date the person leaves the employment authorized under the temporary license;

(2) [The three hundred ninety-sixth calendar day following the date of issuance of the temporary license;] The date upon which the license period and any renewals expires;

(3) The date on which the results of the licensure examination taken by the person under this chapter are posted by the board; or

(4) The date on which the board revokes the temporary license;

provided that the board may revoke the temporary license at any time for cause.

No person who has failed an examination shall have the benefit of any temporary license.

For purposes of this subsection, "safety net dental provider organization" means an entity that is within a federally qualified health center."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2002.