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 world.
“We are excited to see so many members of the House stand up today to help increase access to dental care. Dental therapists are a proven solution that will help make sure more Vermonters can get the care they need, when they need it,” said VPIRG Consumer and Environmental Advocate Falko Schilling.
The bill has now been reviewed by six separate committees, passed the Senate by a vote of 18-8, and received a supportive vote of 109-32 in the House of Representatives. Rep. Kiah Morris of Bennington explained her support of the bill,
“Dental therapy is such a powerful antidote to our state’s dental care crisis because it puts providers in communities where people struggle to get the care they need. Dental therapy is also successful because it is a local solution to a local problem — it gives Vermont’s hygienists an opportunity to take a step up on the career ladder while staying in their communities and practicing in places where dentists don’t.”
The bill now needs final approval from the Senate before it moves to the Governor’s desk for his signature.