Wisconsin's Department of Health and Family Services is looking for ways to expand access to dental care. DHFS is asking advocacy groups, local governments, and oral health care providers to sound off on ways to improve access to dental care across Wisconsin.
The Governor has earmarked $8.8 million to help expand dental care under his BadgerCare Plus proposal. DHFS spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis says providers should be able to provide strong feedback on how that money can be used.
DHFS is looking at several areas for improvements. Among them, Marquis says, is making sure have access to a dentist. She says there are too many stories about children with dental problems having trouble in school because the pain is too much for them. The state is hoping to increase funding for programs that provide that care early on.
There's also a growing concern that low-income families living in rural areas don't have easy access to a dentist who is willing to take on Medicaid patients. As a result, people may have to travel long distances. Marquis says the state wants to look at ways to expand the number of dentists willing to see those patients.