Kansas Dentists Launch New Initiative

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The Kansas Dental Association (KDA) has launched a new initiative that they claim is designed to improve the access of Kansans to dental care.

The policy is seen by some as a retort to calls for registered dental practitioners who would be licensed to provide service currently only available from dentists.

This idea is opposed by the KDA and the president of the organisation David Hamel claimed that such a move would not help Kansas residents get the dental care they deserve. Hamel asserted that the KDA policy would be much more effective in providing increased dental coverage for Kansans.

Elements of the policy include the establishment of a Dental Bridging Loan Program that aims to help attract dentists to rural counties without adequate dental cover. The supply of Medicaid dental provision for adults under the aegis of Gov. Brownback’s health reforms scheme and the expansion of the program designed to allow dental hygienists to carry out procedures in schools, nursing homes and community centres.

Hamel also called for the restoration of funding for the Donated Dental Service Program, slashed last year. In addition opportunities for Kansas dental students would be increased, providing between three and five resident seats on the understanding that they would practice in deprived areas for a certain timescale.

Hamel said that the number of dentists in Kansas has grown over the last ten years, however there are still areas where the current oral healthcare provision is insufficient. There are still 14 counties in Kansas with no dentist.

Daniel Minnis a KDA member with a practice based in Pittsburg claimed that the KDA proposal is good however  he said that the state still needs to increase the access and quality of dental provisions for children on Medicaid.

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