A healthy smile means more than what the eye can see

Some say you cannot put a price on a smile. At Healthier Colorado, we also believe it is essential to our well-being. 

Our teeth play an important role in our everyday lives. They help us chew and digest food, they help us talk and speak clearly, and they give our face its shape. Our smiles give us greater confidence and influence our social lives, careers, and relationships. That is why it only makes sense to give our oral health the best care possible. 

At Healthier Colorado, we believe that oral healthcare is essential to our well-being. That's why we are thrilled to introduce SB22-219 at the state legislature, which would create a new mid-level oral health provider known as a Dental Therapist, similar to that of a physician's assistant. 

This new position with focused care means Coloradans can receive: 

  1. Improve access to basic dental care needs like cavity treatment and tooth extraction 2. Expand services in rural and underserved communities 
  2. Ensure coordinated care alongside your hygienist and dentist. 

Currently, more than 80% of Colorado's counties face a critical shortage of dental health professionals, all of which are in rural and remote areas of our state. Five counties in Colorado do not have a single licensed dentist. This forces people to drive long distances for dental check-ups and treatment or go without care altogether, increasing the risk and costs of gum disease, tooth loss, and other oral health issues. 

With your action today, you can help fight for Coloradans to have more access to oral health. Write to your state Senator today!

I was shocked to learn that many Coloradans have little access to dental care. Even though we are considered to be one of the healthiest states, 53 of Colorado's 64 counties face a critical shortage of dental health professionals. In fact, 5 counties don't have a single licensed dentist. For people who live in these communities, this could mean waiting months for an appointment or driving far from home to find a provider. However, that's only possible if you can afford dental care in the first place.

That is why I would like you to vote YES on SB22-219, which is a bipartisan effort to create a pathway for a mid-level dental provider - similar to a physician's assistant and known as a Dental Therapist. 

Barriers to access create significant health disparities for our most vulnerable communities. Older adults have the lowest rate of dental insurance. Children from low-income families report higher rates of cavities and untreated tooth decay. Black and Hispanic Coloradans are more likely to experience dental disease. And people living in rural areas have almost twice the prevalence of tooth loss versus urban adults. These outcomes are not acceptable; we must do better. 

Now we have an opportunity to fight for better oral health across our state. The status quo is leaving many of our communities without care. Please support SB22-219 to expand access to dental care by authorizing Dental Therapy in Colorado. Every individual and community needs and deserves quality dental health care.

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