The Arc Massachusetts Advocates for Bill Allowing Mid-Level Dental Practitioners

The Arc Massachusetts is advocating for passage of S.1169, which allows for licensed mid-level dental professionals known as dental therapists to practice under the general supervision of a dentist or in a mobile or portable dental prevention program.  Only 40% of dentists in Massachusetts accept Medicaid.  The purpose of the bill is to address this shortage of dental services for underserved populations, including those with I/DD.  The bill requires that the curriculum for dental therapists include training on working with patients with I/DD. In an article about the bill, Maura Sullivan,  The Arc of Massachusetts, noted that she struggled for years to find preventative dental care for her two sons, both with autism, in part because many dentists in her area would not accept Medicaid disability benefits and stated: “I can’t tell you how many times I had to take my kids to an emergency room because of an abscessed tooth.”