VPIRG is dedicated to making oral health care more accessible and affordable for Vermonters.

We have a serious dental problem in Vermont; more than one in six of our friends and neighbors cannot get the dental care they need because they can’t afford it, or they simply can’t find a dentist. While we will not be able to fix this problem overnight, there are concrete steps we can take now to increase access to necessary dental services. VPIRG is proud to be part of a coalition working to improve access to dental care in Vermont.

Recent Dental Care News & Updates

Gov. Shumlin Signs Dental Therapy Law!

This week Governor Shumlin signed S.20 into law, making Vermont the fourth state in the nation to allow dental therapists to provide dental care. Dental therapists will be licensed Vermont hygienists with additional education and training, so that they can offer some of the most needed dental procedures such as fillings and simple extractions. Governor Shumlin was ...

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2016 Legislative Accomplishments

You may have heard that the just-completed 2016 legislative session was lacking in big ideas or major accomplishments. While it’s true that the looming election and pending retirement of many prominent legislators was a distraction this year, it did not prevent real progress on a number of important fronts. That’s important because many of the challenges ...

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Dental therapist bill heads to the Governor’s desk

After more than five years of debate, the legislature passed a measure on Friday that allows dental therapists to practice in Vermont! Dental therapists are mid-level dental providers with a scope of practice greater than a hygienist, but more limited than a dentist. Dental therapists will be licensed hygienists who can also perform some of the ...

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Dental Therapy bill passes the House!

Today the House of Representatives passed S.20, a bill that will allow dental therapists to practice in Vermont. Dental therapists are mid-level dental providers that can perform more procedures than a hygienist, but fewer procedures than a dentist. Dental therapists are part of the dental team in Alaska, Minnesota and more than 50 countries around the ...

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Dental therapy bill passes out of House Human Services committee!

Today the House Human Services committee voted 9-2 in favor of advancing S.20, a bill that would allow dental therapists to offer care in Vermont. Dental therapists are dental professionals with a scope of practice beyond that of a hygienist, but not as expansive as a dentist. Dental therapists are part of the dental workforce in ...

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House committee hears testimony on bill to expand access to dental care

This week, the House Human Services committee resumed testimony on S.20, the bill to establish dental therapists in Vermont. The committee is the first in the House to take up the bill after it passed the Senate last year. Hearing from a range of advocates, including VPIRG’s Falko Schilling, dental professionals, administrators and analysts, the committee ...

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Dean of MN dental school visits VT to advocate for dental therapy

Before lawmakers traveled back to their districts for Town Meeting Day break, members of the House Human Services and Government Operations committees hosted a joint hearing to learn more about how dental therapists are helping improve access in Minnesota. The star witness was Dr. Leon Assael, DMD, Dean of the Minnesota Dental School. As the dean of ...

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Oral Health Care for All coalition calls for expanded dental workforce

VPIRG joined a broad coalition of lawmakers and organizations at the State House today to promote public health, celebrate Oral Health Week and voice their support for legislation (S.20) that would expand Vermont’s dental workforce. S.20 would let licensed dental hygienists receive advanced training and become certified as “dental therapists.” These dental therapists could provide routine restorative and ...

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