A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts bolsters the argument that dental access challenges in Kansas require a new type of dental provider.
The report lists the ten states with the most severe shortage of dentists, and the ten states where low-income children are least likely to receive dental care. Kansas is not on either of those lists.
Still, nearly 55 percent of Kansas kids covered by Medicaid received no dental care in 2011. The report also reveals that more than 16 percent of the state’s population is underserved, and living in a dental shortage area.
The Pew report says research in the U.S. and in other countries demonstrates that so-called mid-level dental providers offer safe, high-quality care.
Efforts the past couple of years to create this new type of registered dental practitioners in Kansas have come up short.