|To:||Sixty-Third Wyoming House of Representatives|
|From:||Gary W. Vollan L.D.|
|P.O. Box 332|
|Basin, Wyoming 82410-0332|
|Date:||February 11, 2016|
Professional Recognition for Wyoming Denturists
Representative, thank you for your service. I’m a trained and educated denturist. I started in the dental profession in 1973 as a U.S. Navy dental technician, decorated for service as a Vietnam Veteran. I have three associate degrees, one as a dental lab tech and two in the denturist profession. I have a bachelor’s degree from the U. of Wyoming’s Leadership and Natural Resource program. I’m a licensed Oregon denturist (1993), keeping the required CE’s for maintaining my license thru June of 2016. My credentials will be provided upon request.
This is my eighth year in practice here at Dr. Nelson and Page, P.C., which includes Drs. Gilman, and Basse here in Worland. I have been to a number of dental offices outside a protective, competitive, radius looking for more work due to the populous limitations in removable oral prostheses (dentures and partials) over the past eight years in Worland. Dentists in Cody and Powell, who have expressed interest in my skills, have expressed fear of opposition from the Wyoming Dental Board if they hire me. So I haven’t found any work outside the Worland area after three years of looking. I need more work. I have student loans to repay along with meeting the needs of my children.
Please consider voting for HB0144 for recognition of the denturist profession here in Wyoming, encouraging other denturist to come to Wyoming for jobs. Currently there are two denture technicians working with dentists in Wyoming who are interested in pursuing the educational requirements to be denturists. Some other points of interest follow.
- Denturists and their specialty; being trained and educated in providing a service which saves dentists chairtime, for restorative, emergency, and time for children’s dental care, especially in rural Wyoming with limited dentists and large case loads.
- Denturists do procedures and related activities pertaining to design, construction and fitting of removables (dentures and partials) for the fully or partially edentulous patient. Denturists communicate removables relating to patient needs.
- Denturists encourage dentists to work with the elderly edentulous patient; having a denturist specialist to deal with problem cases, economic barriers, and Medicaid in reference to removables. Most dentists would rather work other segments of dentistry. Many dentists find removables time consuming with limited revenue. Time and money are saved due to the denturist’s productive service. Most patients can’t afford prosthodontists.
- The edentulous population will continue to level off for decades, due to the public health epidemic of periodontal disease and the need for more “preventive” dental education in the lower elementary grades; showing the need for a bigger dental workforce not just in Wyoming but nationally; which should include denturists, dental therapists, and more independence for the hygienists; an outstanding profession.