Washington State Lawmakers Attend a Dental Therapy Work Session
In early December, members of the Washington House Health and Wellness Committee attended a work session on dental therapy. During the meeting, committee members heard from oral health professionals, community members, and patients about the effectiveness of the dental therapy model. Dental therapy has been legal on Washington’s Tribal lands since 2017 and the impact has been significant. Wait times for appointments have gone from 2 to 3 months to 1 to 2 weeks, the need for extractions has declined, and use of emergency departments for dental issues has decreased. Dental therapists serve members of the Colville Tribes, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Lummi Nation, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Advocates are lobbying to expand the dental therapy model throughout the state of Washington. Click here to read more.