The Texas Legislature will consider public input and staff recommendations for the state dental board in January 2017.
The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission's staff report on the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) was unveiled in April. The staff recommendations and input from public hearings will be reviewed by the commission, which will then present its recommendations to legislators in January 2017.
The staff report addressed several issues of concern, including high turnover in the leadership of the board, number of board members, lack of focus on its public-safety mission and oversight concerns involving dentists who administer anesthesia during dental procedures.
The TSBDE has faced many challenges in the last five years. The board was abolished in 1993 and revived in 1995, was again under sunset review in 2003, and has seen a high turnover rate in its leadership, with four executive directors and general counsels in only five years. The constant change in top leadership positions has affected the ability of senior staff to work with the board to resolve issues that affect public safety.
While the ongoing issues are of concern, the sunset staff has recommended the continuation of the agency for 12 more years. The commission will focus on these issues and recommend changes to the legislature that will facilitate a focus on the TSBDE's mission to protect the public.