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Dental therapist law expected to relieve care seeking

Posted at 12:46 PM, May 01, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado law is in effect as of Monday, May 1, that creates a dental license for what is known as a dental therapist. This is a mid-level provider like a physician's assistant in medicine.

This law comes as more than 56 million people live in areas of the United States with dentist shortages, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. In Colorado, 53 of 64 counties currently face a dentist shortage, according to The Journal of Multidisciplinary Care, Decisions in Dentistry.

This added certification is expected to relieve this dental burden.

"They'll also add on a few of those really high value and really needed services, like filling cavities, like extracting teeth that we know can be hard to find," said Kyle Piccola the Vice President of communications and advocacy with Healthier Colorado.

Dental therapists are required to work with a dentist, but they are authorized to do fewer procedures. Therapists are trained identically on those procedures. They are required to have three years of schooling in Colorado.

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