Opponent's Arguments Don't Hold Up
Opponents SAY: Dental therapists have not increased access to care where they are working
[i] Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Board of Dentistry, “Early Impacts of Dental Therapists in Minnesota: Report to the Legislature, 2014” (February 2014) http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/orhpc/workforce/oral/dtlegisrpt.pdf
[ii] Data provided by Michael Scandrett, MS Strategies research group to Jane Koppelman, Pew Dental Campaign on January 29, 2019.
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Evaluation Findings from Wisconsin Four-County Medicaid Dental Reimbursement Pilot
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The Evidence Base for Dental Therapy:
Quality, Access, Cost Efficiency
Dental therapists help dentists provide quality oral health care to more patients. They perform a limited number of procedures that are beyond the scope of a dental hygienist (e.g., preparing and filling cavities, performing nonsurgical extractions), which allows dentists to devote more time to complex procedures that only they can perform. Dental therapists command lower salaries than dentists, so adding them to the dental team can help lower the production costs of providing care so practices can increase revenue.[i]
Dental therapists can work under general supervision so they can be used by private and public practices to extend office hours to evenings and weekends without a dentist required to be on site. They can also work remotely in underserved areas, or in off-site locations such as schools, day care centers, and nursing homes to bring care to those who face challenges traveling to a dental office. READ MORE
[i] The Pew Charitable Trusts, “5 Dental Therapy FAQs,” (April 21, 2016), http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/q-and-a/2016/04/5-dental-therapy-faqs.