At KACAP, we see the negative impact of Kansas’ severe dental shortage and recognize that this is a particular problem for low‐income people. That’s why we are a part of the Kansas Dental Project’s coalition to support a REGISTERED DENTAL PRACTITIONER designation by our state legislature.
RDPs are like the Registered Nurse Practitioner in your doctor’s office. They can see clients and perform a limited scope of important services. In fact, by employing just one RDP, a dental practice will be able to schedule 2,000 to 3,000 more appointments annually and patients will experience shorter wait times for care. Right now, 95 of Kansas’ 105 counties don’t have enough dental providers. Thirteen counties don’t have any dentists at all. RDPs can help expand a dentist’s practice and reach out to communities where the needs are the greatest. In 2010, more than 17,500 emergency room visits were reported by Kansas hospitals for dental care – the number one reason was cavities. Allowing RDPs to work in Kansas will help to lessen ER usage for dental care, reducing costs for patients and hospitals.
Learn more about supporting RDP’s, and a really important community advocate meeting in Topeka on October 16, at www.kansasdental.com.