Bill examines dental care

To the editor:

The members on the State Committee on Aging identify concerns of older citizens and make recommendations regarding policy and procedures to best protect the well-being, rights and quality of life of older citizens.

District 12 State Senator Peggy Gilmour is sponsoring a bill that will examine one of the biggest obstacles many senior citizens face: access to dental care. Dental care can be a significant challenge because even routine services like filling cavities can be unaffordable for some on a fixed income. It can also be nearly impossible because a dentist may be located many miles away from home, and older seniors may face difficulties with driving and access to public transportation. One improvement that is worthy of consideration is something our neighboring states are considering as well: adding new types of dental providers, such as dental hygiene practitioners.

By examining pathways to oral health care as Senate Bill 193 seeks to do, policymakers can identify deficiencies in the current system and hopefully recommend improvements like this to the dental care delivery system.

Richard Crocker

Meredith, State Committee on Aging

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