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Opinion >  Letters

Dental therapists are win for everyone

My daughter is not able to afford dental care. It is a luxury for those of us with jobs that have dental care insurance.

We are fast coming into the 2022 legislative session and there is a glimmer of hope, again.

Establishing the profession of dental therapist will be re-introduced. Adding the dental therapist to the dental team will expand the dental clinic team and address racial and ethnic disparities in urban and rural dental health care.

Not only does this help my daughter but it also establishes a more affordable pathway to quality employment for dental therapists in the health care industry. Years ago, I became a medical assistant, which provided me quality employment while I was raising my daughter. This too will provide great quality job opportunities.

People all over Washington are not able to get the dental care they need. They face the brutal decision to suffer pain and risk losing their teeth or take on medical debt to get dental treatment. People are delaying care to afford other needs like rent, bills and food.

In the 2021 legislative session, the state legislature created a task force to examine bringing dental therapy to every community in Washington. Dental therapy is backed by years of research and is already being practiced in 12 other states and on tribal land in Washington. Please urge your representative to support this in the 2022 legislation.

April May

Ritzville



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