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Physicians Groups Oppose Treatment of Sleep Disorders by Texas Dentists

Today the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to overturn Morton's conviction.
Photo by Keith Burtis/
The Texas Medical Association has filed a lawsuit in the Travis County District Court challenging a new rule adopted by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.

Last June, The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners adopted a rule allowing dentists in the state to diagnose and treat certain sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnea in collaboration with a physician, but a number of physicians groups have spoken out against this new rule, including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The Texas Medical Association is challenging the rule in court.

"It’s the position of Texas Medical Association that that is the practice of medicine, not something that dentists are either trained for or licensed to do," says David Bragg, the trial counsel for the association in its lawsuit against the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.

The challenge to the rule has been filed in the Travis County District Court. Bragg says he expects it to be heard in the first half of 2015.

The dental board declined to comment for the story because of the pending litigation. In a statement to KUT, Dr. David H. McCarley, president of the Texas Dental Association, said TDA "is monitoring the lawsuit, and it is too early in the process to offer comment at this time."

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