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Power Up: Rep. Mary Felzkowski looking to close the oral health care gap

Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 23, 2019

MADISON — A bill that could go a long way in closing Wisconsin’s oral health care gap received a public hearing last week in the Assembly, but it faces an uphill climb to passage.

Assembly Bill 81 would create a license for a dental therapist position, akin to a physician assistant. Licensed dental therapists would be allowed to perform routine dental procedures, such as fluoride application, tooth extraction, and cavity repair, all under the supervision of a dentist.

The program has been a success in other states such as Alaska and Minnesota. Dental professionals from those states testified at last week’s hearing.

But the Wisconsin Dental Association has lobbied hard against the bill, arguing it isn’t the oral health care fix its proponents say it is.

State Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) begs to differ.

Felzkowski, co-author of the measure, spoke with Empower Wisconsin last week on the Vicki McKenna Show, on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA in Madison. We feature that interview today on Power Up, Empower Wisconsin’s podcast.

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