Wisconsin legislature looks to license dental therapists

Dentists

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A Wisconsin state representative proposed a bill that would license dental therapists, hoping to improve access to care, according to local ABC affiliate WBAY.

Dental therapists who are licensed can perform most common procedures, including teeth cleanings and filling cavities. If more advanced procedures are needed, a dentist needs to supervise.

Surrounding states have licensed dental therapists in recent year. State Rep. Mary Felzkowski hopes that by licensing dental therapists more low-income people will be able to access care.

Wisconsin has around 4,000 licensed dentists; however, 64 of its 72 counties face dental shortages, according to Ms. Felzkowski.

Although the Wisconsin Dental Association is not against licensing dental therapists, the organization believes the problem is the state's low reimbursement rate and not the number of providers.

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