MONTPELIER — The House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to the Dental Therapists bill (s.20) today with a vote of 109-32.
The bill would create a new mid-level position in the dental profession.
Like the nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants who handle routine medical care, dental therapists would be able to do routine dental care, including nonsurgical extractions and surface fillings.
While under the general supervision of a dentist, the supervising dentist would not need to be on-site.
Supporters of the bill argue this would allow for wider geographical and more affordable primary dental care to Vermonters.
“The Oral Health Care for All Coalition is pleased that Vermont is moving forward to increase access to dental care by allowing dentists to build out their dental health team,” Michelle Fay, Associate Director at Voices for Vermont’s Children said after the vote. “We thank the House Representatives for such strong support for this bill, and we look forward to final passage next week.”
The bill passed the Senate last year with a vote of 18-8.
Final passage in the House is expected on Tuesday, and then the bill will go back to the Senate.