Too Many Washingtonians Can’t Get
the Care They Need
From Port Angeles to Pasco, from Walla Walla to Westport, too many of our most vulnerable neighbors are not getting affordable and accessible dental care.
When kids have untreated cavities, they spend their time in school dealing with their pain, not paying attention to their teacher. When adults have toothaches and infections, they miss work. For adults who have lost teeth to decay, it can be nearly impossible to find a decent job. Seniors often suffer silently, while oral health problems worsen and make them sick. In many of our communities, our emergency rooms are left to provide expensive, stop-gap care that treats the symptoms, and not the cause of the problem.
Last year, the state took great strides forward in providing insurance for over 700,000 people in need. But coverage alone will not transform our broken dental health care system into one that serves us well.
Children, adults, and seniors are suffering. It doesn't have to be this way.
Workforce Solutions That Work for Communities
Mid-level dental providers are already working in other states, and in over 50 countries, to improve access to oral health care for those communities going without needed care. These evidence-based providers work under the supervision of a dentist to deliver routine care and oral health education, freeing up dentists to do more complicated procedures. Mid-level dental providers are a proven safe, and effective way to increase access to dental care.
Washington's new providers are based on providers with a 90 year history, in over 50 countries including Alaska and Minnesota. Every study conducted on the providers show they provide safe, quality care to patients. They are a common sense part of the solution.
Help to bring this innovation to Washington's communities.