Group pushes legislation to help western Kansas dentists

TOPEKA, Kansas – At the statehouse, there was a push for legislation that would address the shortage of dentists in western Kansas.

The Kansas Dental Project said 13 counties have no dentist at all and 95 counties don’t have enough.

The group urged lawmakers to approve the use of dental practitioners who could do routine cleanings, fillings, and extractions.

The featured speaker was a dentist from Minnesota who said practitioners have worked there since 2011.

“I think it’s true in Kansas as it is in Minnesota that we have patients driving a hundred miles to find a dentist that will accept their dental insurance, and now I think this is helping correct that need,” said Dr. Kevin Nakagaki, Health Partners Midway dental Clinic.

Some dentists oppose the idea because they are worried that dental practitioners would not get the needed training and experience.

A similar measure failed to pass last year.

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