Dental health for the poor is a big problem in Washington state. Some see dental therapists as a route to less expensive care. But the powerful state dentists association has thwarted efforts to allow the therapists.
Mid-level providers are critical to expanding access to dental care. Working with dentists and hygienists they help provide preventive and routine dental services, oral health education and a dental home in underserved communities.
Christy Jo Fogarty, an advanced dental therapist at a non-profit clinic in Minnesota, describes working with patients and how she interacts with her supervising dentist.
This report assesses the economic viability of services provided by practicing midlevel dental providers in the U.S. and shows that they are expanding preventive dental care to people who need it most: children and those who can't afford care.
Too many Washington children, adults and seniors have no access to routine and preventive dental health care. Dentists and leaders speak up for mid-level dental health care providers for Washington State.
From 1930 when rural children in Michigan first received dental care at school as a result of MCHP to 2011 with dental therapists in Alaska, innovative approaches for improving dental health are rooted in partnership with communities.