Since Dental Therapists first joined Minnesota’s dental workforce more than a decade ago, they have become an integral part of the dental team. KFF’s Christina Saint Louis reported on dental therapy in Minnesota, highlighting two dental therapists at Apple Tree’s Fergus Falls Center for Dental Health.
Excerpt of the article:
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — All six of Michelle Ehlert’s children have Medicaid plans that should cover their dental care. But for years, she and her husband paid for dental care out-of-pocket — sometimes thousands of dollars a year.
They couldn’t find a dentist near their home in Wilkin County, Minnesota, who accepted Medical Assistance, which is the state’s version of Medicaid. When a mobile clinic that would treat Medicaid patients drove nearly 200 miles from Minneapolis to the rural county on Minnesota’s western border, appointments that fit her family’s schedule were “hit-or-miss,” she said.
That all changed when Ehlert’s family found a clinic in neighboring Otter Tail County run by Apple Tree Dental, where dental therapists, who prioritize treating Medicaid recipients, provide much of the clinic’s dental care.
Now, “we actually go to the dentist like we’re scheduled to,” Ehlert said. “It really is indescribable how much of a difference it’s made.”
(Article photo credit: Christina Saint Louis)