Montana denturists fight proposal requiring dentists' presence

Montana denturists oppose a proposed rule that would require a dentist be present when denturists provide certain services to patients, according to the Great Falls Tribune
Montana legislators voted unanimously Sept. 11 to ask the Montana Board of Dentistry to delay the proposed rule until the committee reviews it in November. The proposed rule would only allow denturists to treat people with implant retained dentures under direct dentist supervision.

Montana is one of seven states where denturism is legislated, with 19 licensed denturists — compared to 817 licensed dentists — according to the Department of Labor and Industry.

John Bennion, DDS, MD, an oral surgeon, told the Great Falls Tribune the proposed rule implies that denturists are inferior at applying dentures.

Nathan Bilyeu, an attorney representing the denturists for seven years, filed a lawsuit against the legislation, saying it conflicted with the licensure of denturists.

"Every other state that licenses denturists allows them to do this procedure," Mr. Bilyeu told Great Falls Tribune.

He said the denturists agreed to a referral rule where a dentist would refer a patient to a denturist and the patient would return to the dentist for a follow-up. Mr. Bilyeu said the board rejected the rule.

Great Falls Tribune could not reach the Montana Dental Association for comment.

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