North Dakotans for Dental Access
North Dakotans for Dental Access News

ATR poll shows great bipartisan support for mid-level dental provider

ATR poll shows great bipartisan support for mid-level dental provider
In a poll conducted for the American for Tax Reform Foundation by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, likely voters overwhelmingly support an innovative solution to America’s dentist shortage. In what has been called a “big idea” for social change, allowing dentists to hire mid-level dental practitioners for routine care has emerged as a possible way to reduce health care costs while increasing access to care for millions of Americans seeking dental services throughout the United States. To read the full story, click on this link.

Rep. Karen Rohr gives update on Health Services Committee work on dental access
In her recent legislative update post to the Mandan News, Rep. Karen Rohr gave a brief recap of topics covered during the July Health Services Committee meeting. In her article, Rohr recaps testimony given by Dr. Frank Catalanotto, former dean of the University Of Florida College Of Dentistry. This includes the following: In North Dakota, 70 percent of children on Medicaid did not see a dentist in 2013; 1/3 of seniors report dental problems; rural children have worse oral health than urban children; and dental complaints were the third most common reported in a hospital emergency department. Click here to read the full article.

Mark your calendars: Interim Health Services Committee in September
The next meeting of the interim Health Services Committee will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21, starting at 9 a.m. in the Roughrider Room at the state capitol building. Items to be covered include information by representatives of the Department of Human Services regarding dentists accepting Medicaid and children's health insurance program patients, and the percentage of dentists and medical providers participating in Medicaid in North Dakota compared to surrounding states. As well, Sarah Wovcha, executive director of Children’s Dental Services, a nonprofit organization providing children's dental services in Minnesota, is scheduled to provide an update on the integration of dental therapists within community dental clinics and on providing dental services in schools.

Wall Street Journal article states “You don’t need to be a dentist to fill a cavity”
“In Minnesota, the initial opposition to dental therapist(s) among the state's dentists has passed. Now, private practice dentists are hiring dental therapists so they can treat more patients and make more money. It's an arrangement that's good for the public's health and good for the bottom line, too.” To read this article from reporter Eric Boehm in full, click on this link or click here to read Boehm’s blog on this topic.

A good dentist is hard to find in rural America
A story done this week on National Public Radio highlights the reality of finding a good dentist, willing to take Medicaid patients, in rural America. By clicking on this link, you can listen to and read the story of how this search for dental care is impacting our neighbors to the east, in Wisconsin—despite having one of the most comprehensive dental benefits among state Medicaid programs.

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