Recent polling by EPIC MRA shows significant support statewide for receiving treatment from dental therapists and for giving patients access to dental therapists working under the supervision of dentists, especially in areas with few dentists. 65 percent of those surveyed support changing state law to allow dentists to choose to hire a midlevel dental provider such as a dental therapist to make oral health care more accessible.
Thirty percent of people reported having trouble affording dental care for themselves or someone in their household during the past year. In addition, 97 percent said they thought it was very important or somewhat important that they receive dental care on a regular basis.
The survey of 600 Michigan residents was sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts and conducted by EPIC MRA by telephone June 6-9, 2016, and included both cell phones and landlines (40/60 split) randomly selected from commercially available cell phone lists and published residential telephone numbers of registered voter households (via interval sampling), respectively. The margin of error is +/‑4.0% at the 95% level of confidence. The sample was stratified by geographical region and households with and without children to ensure proportional representation across the state.
Oral Health in Michigan—a 2015 report by the Center for Health Workforce Studies, School of Public Health, University at Albany, provides an in-depth review of Michigan’s oral health status and dental programs.
The report found that major challenges in accessing and financing oral health care persist despite proactive efforts to address barriers to oral health services, such as expanding Healthy Kids Dental, reinstating adult Medicaid benefits and other local initiatives.
In addition to the report, the authors also completed a series of in-depth interviews with a wide variety of oral health stakeholders in the state to better understand gaps in oral health access as well as barriers to care: Interviews of Oral Health Stakeholder in Michigan, May 2015.
Download copies of both reports below.
AARP Michigan The Arc Michigan LeadingAge Michigan Association of Health Plans Michigan Association of School Nurses Michigan Association of United Ways Michigan’s Children Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness Michigan Community Action
Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association Michigan Disability Rights Coalition Michigan League for Public Policy Michigan Primary Care Association National Association of Social Workers-Michigan School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan Wolverine Dental Hygienists’ Society Wolverine Human Services
Lynda Gregorini, RDH
Anne Gwozdek, RDH, BA, MA
Jane Halaris RDH, BS, MA
James K. Haveman Jr.
Mailan Hudson, RDH
Annette Jackson, RDH, BS, MCTEc
Lorene Kline, RDH, BSDH
RoseAnn Schihl, RDH, BS