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Supporters push new level of dental worker at Topeka Capitol

KSAL StaffJanuary 24, 2015

A plan to address a Kansas dental care shortage with a new type of health care worker is being pushed again in the Legislature despite stiff opposition.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that registered dental practitioners would be able to perform basic services, such as fillings, crowns and some tooth extractions. Supporters argue the mid-level practitioners could cut costs, but opponents charge the idea would endanger patients.

The federal Health Resources and Services Administration said 99 Kansas counties have some form of dental-related health professional shortage. Shortages are the most profound in rural areas.

Both Fort Hays State University and Wichita State University have supported the creation of dental practitioner programs.

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