The AAO Advocacy and Legal Department is excited to inform you that Senate Bill 1012 was signed into law by Idaho Governor Brad Little last month. The bill was supported unanimously in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

SB 1012 protects a patient’s right to file a complaint with the Board of Dentistry. Specifically, the legislation provides that the Board may refuse to issue or renew a dental license, or may revoke, suspend, place on probation, reprimand or take other disciplinary action with respect to a dental license if a dentist requires:

“…directly, or as a member, representative, contracted agent, or employee of or in connection with any company, association, corporation, or partnership, that a patient sign an agreement limiting his right or ability to file a complaint with the board.”

Through the Component Legal Support Fund, the AAO hired a local Idaho lobbying firm to represent the Idaho State Society of Orthodontists and its members. The AAO House of Delegates created the Component Legal Support Fund (CLSF) in 2015 to fund advocacy initiatives in the states and provinces. Since then, 38 states and provinces have applied for and utilized the CLSF to engage in advocating on issues facing orthodontists with both dental boards and state legislatures. Learn more about CLSF here.

Every orthodontist (as a citizen of and licensed dental provider in his or her state) and every patient has the right, independently and individually, to express his or her opinion on any dental issue to his or her state dental board. The AAO believes that Idaho SB 1012 helps further protect patient health and safety and ensures a patient’s right to complain is not abridged. Thank you to all the Idaho orthodontists who contacted their legislators to educate them about this important legislation.