AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy today released a paper by TPPF Senior Fellow John Davidson and Mackinac Center Director of Research Michael Van Beek discussing how to improve access to dental care. The paper, Dental Therapists: A Proposal to Expand Access to Dental Care in Michigan, examines how creating a new class of midlevel dental providers, called dental therapists or dental hygiene practitioners, could alleviate dentist shortage problems and improve access to routine dental care.

“Across the country, states are looking for ways to increase access to health care while keeping costs down,” said Davidson. “This is especially true of dental care, which many people go without because they can’t afford it or because they don’t have a dentist in their area. By authorizing dental midlevel providers, states can address both these problems—without imposing onerous regulations or using taxpayer dollars to pay for care.”  

“Statistics suggest that not enough people in Michigan have access to affordable dental care, and creating a midlevel dental provider will help more people get the type of care that they need and that will help reduce future health care costs,” said Van Beek. 

To read the full paper, please visit:

For more information, please contact Caroline Espinosa at [email protected].

Registration for the 2017 Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature is now open to media and the public! 

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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