Governor Tony Evers has announced that his budget will include a $43 million investment to expand the states dental access.
It includes expanding the Seal-A-Smile program which provides preventative services for children primarily in the K-12 school system with high levels of dental care needs.
Currently, half of the eligible schools provide services to children, but by increasing the funding, the services can be offered to more schools and children.
“These are critically important initiatives and I’m proud to invest in these programs that will improve the health and wellness of folks all over Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers.
There is a dental workforce shortage in Wisconsin and around the nation. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 204 dental providers are needed to remove the shortage in Wisconsin.
The Governor’s proposal would also establish a dental therapist licensure that would provide a mid-level dental provider to the dental workforce. Wisconsin colleges could receive funding to implement a dental therapist training program as well.