North Dakotans for Dental Access
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North Dakotans for Dental Access News

Dental Therapy becomes law in Arizona


North Dakota Dental Fact: Thousands of North Dakotans do not receive regular, routine dental care because there is not enough access to providers in rural areas or for many people with low-incomes in urban centers. i
 
On Wednesday, May 16th, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed HB2235 into law, creating the licensing and regulatory structure to allow dental therapists to practice in Arizona.
 
Arizona now joins six states that have authorized dental therapists, and the dozen or so more who are exploring this commonsense, free market approach to addressing the oral health crisis facing more than 125 million Americans. These include Alaska, Minnesota and on tribal lands in Oregon and Washington State. Maine and Vermont have also passed authorizing legislation and are developing the educational programs to train dental therapists.
 
Legislators on both sides of the political aisle came together, enthusiastically backing dental therapy as a way to address Arizona’s urgent need for dental providers. Especially considering the critical need facing so many rural, Tribal and underserved communities.
 
“Dental therapists are a proven workforce model that will increase affordable care options without creating new, burdensome regulations,” said Senator Nancy Barto (R-AZ), the bill’s original sponsor. “We worked hard to bring all stakeholders to the table and the result is a bill that serves as model legislation for the rest of the country.” 
 
ICYMI: Fewer Arizonans Will Have to Go to Mexico for Dental Care, Thanks to Bill Signed by Governor

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i. UND Center for Rural Health. ND Oral Health Report: Needs and Proposed Models, December 2014.


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