ADA urges members to ask their senators to support legislation that will address dental workforce issues
An ADA Action Alert is urging ADA members to email their senators and ask them to support legislation that can help ensure there are enough dentists in underserved areas, members’ offices are fully staffed and more patients are able to receive dental care.
“Dental practices in America are facing a workforce problem that is limiting access to care,” the alert reads. “One-third of dentists have told ADA that they are actively recruiting dental hygienists and dental assistants, and 87% of dentists tell ADA that recruiting for these positions is extremely challenging despite incentives offered to prospective dental team members. Please write your senators to urge them to support legislation that will address dental workforce issues so that there are enough dentists in underserved areas, your offices are fully staffed, and more patients are able to receive dental care.”
The ADA is asking the emails request that senators support:
- Reauthorizing Action for Dental Health workforce grants directed towards programs for dentists and other dental professionals.
- S 862, the Restoring America’s Health Care Workforce and Readiness Act, which would double funding for the National Health Service Corps’ scholarships and loan repayment programs for health care workers, including dentists and dental hygienists, who serve in federally designated shortage areas.
- Allowing dental professional student loan borrowers to modify the interest rate on student loans to the current applicable rate.
- Supporting S 704, the Resident Education Deferred Interest Act, which would address the difficulty, or inability, of those who must undertake several years of dental residency with very low pay to begin repaying student debt immediately.
To send an email, click on the link in the ADA Legislative Action Alert or go to ADA.org/advocacy/legislative-action-center/workforce-action-alert and fill out the form with your name, address and phone number, which will instantly generate a request to your senators.
“Please email your senators and ask them to support these bills,” the alert said. “In doing so they can express their support for dentists and dental professionals, as well as patients who may not be able to receive care because of deficiencies in the dental workforce.”