New residents in Montana will be required to take an oath before getting a dental appointment to prove they are qualified, a state law said on Monday.
“If you are not qualified to fill a tooth or fill a cavity in your home, you are ineligible to work for the dental association,” state Representative Ryan Kappler said in a statement.
“There are people who cannot get dental work,” he added.
The Montana Dentist Association said in an email to the Associated Press that it has no plans to challenge the law.
The law, which goes into effect on July 1, requires applicants to complete a dental oath that the association said it has taken into account before allowing them to work.
“It’s important to have dental professionals in our communities because they are the primary care providers for millions of people,” association president Michael Sivulka said.
“The dental profession in Montana is an important part of our community and a vital part of public health.”
The law says applicants who cannot prove they have “the requisite skill and training” to work in the state’s health care system must take an oral examination at a dental office or an interview.
“They will be expected to demonstrate that they are willing and able to work under very demanding conditions to serve our patients, families, and communities,” the law said.
Sivulaka said dental assistants and dental students could also be considered for jobs.
A spokesman for the Montana Attorney General’s office, Mark Bowers, said the office was not reviewing the law and that it was a matter for the legislature to take up.
“We don’t have any comment at this time on whether this legislation violates Montana’s state constitution,” Bowers said in response to a question about the law from the AP.
“In my view, there’s no reason to do it this way.”