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Michigan Senate Votes to Allow, License Dental Therapists

Dental therapists would be allowed to perform more services under a bill advancing in the Michigan Legislature. Dental therapists would be allowed to perform more services under a bill advancing in the Michigan Legislature. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

October 11, 2017 11:16 AM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan would authorize and license midlevel "dental therapists" to do work now performed by dentists under a bill advancing in the Legislature.

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The legislation won Senate approval 21-15 Wednesday. The House will consider it next.

Under the bill (Senate Bill 541), dental therapists could practice if they reach an agreement with a supervising dentist.

They could perform more common procedures than dental hygienists, such as filling cavities.

Supporters say the legislation would help ensure treatment for more patients in underserved populations, including in rural areas.

Opponents, such as the Michigan Dental Association, say the reason some residents are not getting adequate dental care have nothing to do with a shortage. They blame low Medicaid reimbursement rates and other factors.


WDIO

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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