With the passage of Michigan's dental therapy bill and licensing rules, we can now begin to utilize dental therapists to improve access to care for Michigan's underserved communities.
*This is a big step toward oral health equity!*
As Michigan colleges and universities begin to offer dental therapy programs, we will see more providers in underserved areas and fewer barriers to dental care for those who need it most.
Michigan's Dental Therapy Licensing Rules
In April 2021, Michigan's dental therapy licensing rules were approved, making dental therapy its newest licensed profession. See the licensing rules here.
These infographics look at different aspects of the legislation and dental therapists
The need to improve access to oral health care in Michigan is not a new issue. Despite efforts, the lack of access persists for many populations in our state. For decades, disparities in oral health have existed due to barriers to access, including a misdistribution of dental providers, a shortage of dentists in Michigan who accept Medicaid and a lack of dentists who specialize in populations such as children, special needs adults and senior citizens. Other barriers to oral health care include lack of transportation, delays in getting appointments during a dental emergency, and lack of awareness of parents and caregivers about the importance of oral health care.
Licensing dental therapists to practice in Michigan will help the numerous populations in our state who remain underserved.
The Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health (MCMCH) and its partners are working to further evidence-based, cost effective policy solutions to improve access to oral health services.
To learn more about our work, visit the About Us page.