Florida Dental Association

Loan Repayment Program Pitched For Dentists

Feb 6, 2019
Child receiving a mouth exam
Dave Buchwald

Florida dentists could qualify for up to $250,000 in student-loan repayments under a bill filed Tuesday by Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater. 

Lawmakers are being asked to consider two competing proposals surrounding access to dental care. One would allow mid-level practitioners to be licensed, while the other would provide incentives to would-be dentists.

A coalition called Floridians for Dental Access wants the Florida Legislature to allow licenses for dental therapists.

Therapists have more training than a dental hygienist and less training than a dentist. They can perform services like filling cavities and pulling teeth.

Child receiving a mouth exam
Dave Buchwald

There is a void of dentists in Florida.

A coalition calling itself Floridians for Dental Access has a plan to fill the cavity: dental therapists.

The group is asking lawmakers to sign off on a new health care license for what are known as dental therapists, who could perform a bevy of activities such as basic clinical dental treatment and preventive services under the supervision of dentists.

According to a 2017 Lincoln Financial Group dental research study, one in four people with employer-sponsored dental insurance say they haven’t been to the dentist in the past year for routine checkups and cleanings due to cost.

The Florida Dental Association Foundation will host its fourth Florida Mission of Mercy event on March 9-10 at the Lee Civic Center in Fort Myers. During the event dentists will provide an estimated 2,000 people with relief from the pain and infection of untreated dental disease — all at no cost to the patients.

Dental care will be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with no pre-registration necessary. Services provided will include cleanings, fillings, extractions, pediatric dentistry and limited root canal therapy. We're joined by Dr. Phillip Kraver, one of the dentists providing care at this weekend's events, to learn more.

Medicaid Dental Changes Moving Forward

Oct 25, 2017

Florida Medicaid officials are working to start a new dental program that is distinct from the statewide Medicaid managed-care system by March 1, 2019.

Scott Signs Bills On Body Cameras, Dental Care

Mar 28, 2016
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed 34 bills into law, including a measure that will require standards for the use of police body cameras and a plan that could lead to revamping dental care in the Medicaid program.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

 Over two days at the Florida State Fairgrounds, volunteers organized by the Florida Dental Association provided more than $1 million in free services.

When volunteers got there to open the doors on the first day at 5 a.m., there were more than 800 people in line, according to association president Terry Buckenheimer. By the end of the event, volunteers served 1,660 patients.


The Florida Dental Association, a statewide association representing 6,300 Florida-licensed dentists, has selected Dr. Terry Buckenheimer for its 2013-2014 president.

Dr. Buckenheimer, a University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine graduate, set up his general dentistry practice in Tampa in 1980. Although he sold the practice in 2010, he still remains active in the Tampa office, according to a news release.

He’s been a member of the American Dental Association for more than 30 years. He currently serves on that dental society’s Board of Trustees.