Oral health advocates push for bill expanding access for dental hygiene

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Dozens of dental hygienists and oral health advocates gathered at the State House on Tuesday to lobby lawmakers on the importance of oral health.

Dental hygienists are calling on the state to pass a bill that would provide more accessible and affordable oral health care, a move they believe would save Massachusetts millions of dollars in unnecessary emergency room visits.

Lawmakers push for expanded dental coverage

They’re urging lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow dental therapists to practice in Massachusetts. They would bring oral health care, including filling cavities and extracting teeth, directly to people in places like nursing homes, schools and areas that lack access.

Katherine Pelullo of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association explained that “Some may be on MassHealth, some may not have transportation to a dental office, some may be at the end of their lives and confined to their homes, nursing homes or other types of extended care facilities.”

The bill is currently under review by the Public Health Committee.

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