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Browsing: Dental Therapy
“Kudos to the governor and legislators on both sides of the aisle who worked together to make this state a better place for kids and others badly in need of better dental care,” said Badger Institute President Mike Nichols. “This is a long-awaited, great day for potentially hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites, including a lot of poor kids who suffer from toothaches and cavities and poor health.”
It’s common knowledge that Wisconsin has way too many poor kids with terrible dental care and not enough dentists to treat them.
The 2023-25 state biennial budget signed by Gov. Tony Evers did not include the most effective measure to address gaps in oral care access in Wisconsin — dental therapy.
Dental therapists are mid-level providers — similar to physician assistants or nurse practitioners — who perform preventive, restorative and intermediate restorative procedures such as fluoride applications, cavity repairs and extractions of diseased teeth. These licensed professionals work under the general supervision of dentists and often practice in locations with underserved populations.
Research indicates a correlation between proper dental hygiene, including regular dental visits, and a lower risk of serious COVID infection and complications, according to a recent study out of Cairo University.
Legislation would provide access to hundreds of thousands of underserved Wisconsinites
Dentists see that adding the mid-level providers eases the care shortage, expands access and creates efficiencies
1.2 million Wisconsinites live in dental care shortage areas. Children, seniors, veterans & the disabled are most likely to lack access to oral care. Here’s a successful effort to provide dental care to underserved populations without relying on taxpayers.
Dental therapists in Minnesota help more low-income kids and adults get the oral care they need
University of Minnesota Ph.D. candidate Jason Hicks testifies in favor of 2019 SB 89 before the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on August 21, 2019
2019 SB 89 would provide for the licensure of dental therapists, who are health care practitioners who may engage in the limited practice of dentistry.