North Dakotans for Dental Access
North Dakotans for Dental Access News

Supporting a bill to increase dental access in N.D.

Show your support for HB 1256 and for increasing dental access in N.D.

The Human Services Committee hearing for House Bill 1256 will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m. at the Capitol Building in Bismarck. HB 1256 would modify existing law to allow enterprising dentists to hire licensed dental therapists to augment the oral health care team and provide increased access to affordable care in the state. Please consider joining members of the North Dakotans for Dental Access coalition as we will be testifying in support of HB 1256. We hope to see you on Wednesday!


Coalition for Dental Access adds new members

Two new groups have joined a statewide coalition in support of HB 1256; the North Dakota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and North Dakota Nurses Association. North Dakotans for Dental Access was formed out of concern for the growing need for access to affordable, routine dental care in our state and the strong belief and commitment that dental therapists can and will play a significant role in increasing access going forward. North Dakotans for Dental Access includes the following members:
  • AARP North Dakota
  • Alliance for Health Care Access (Grand Forks)
  • Community Action Partnership of ND
  • Family Voices of ND
  • North Dakota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • North Dakota Dental Hygienists Association
  • North Dakota Nurses Association
  • North Dakota Nurse Practitioners Association
  • North Dakota Protection and Advocacy Project
  • North Dakota Public Health Association
  • North Dakota Women’s Network  
  • Northland Health Centers
  • Third Street Clinic
  • Americans for Prosperity
  • Americans for Tax Reform

If you know of a group or organization you think would support the effort in North Dakota to increase access to affordable, routine dental care, please let us know at


Conservative publications highlight the case for licensing dental therapists

A publication by The Heartland Institute is now available online. The Policy Brief makes a case for the licensing of dental therapists in North Dakota to improve access to routine oral care. To access the full document, click here. The Heartland Institute also has a healthcare news podcast addressing this policy paper and how dental therapy is gaining momentum and attention across the country. Along with conservative and libertarian public policy groups, organizations on the other side of the aisle are also grabbing on to the benefits of the service that dental therapists could provide. To read more about what Families USA, a liberal public policy organization, is doing to educate their supporters on the facts and benefits of allowing dentists to hire dental therapists, go to their website under “Access to Dental Care.”


N.D. newspapers focusing on dental access

Recent editorials and letters to the editor have been published in newspapers across the state in the last week. A longer editorial on how dental therapists can help dentists improve oral health in the state by Dana Schmit, president of the North Dakota Dental Hygienists’ Association, ran in the Minot Daily News on Sunday, Jan. 15. To read that article either click here or here.
And the Bismarck Tribune last week printed a letter written by Darius Sparks, who grew up on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, telling his story about poor oral health care – and dental therapy as a potential solution to the problem. To read the full letter to the editor, click here.    

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