Opinion Columns & Blogs

July 18, 2014

'Dental therapists’ could give more Americans the care they need

In 2009, 830,000 visits to emergency rooms around the country could have been prevented if the patients had seen a dentist earlier. In 2011, more than half of children on Medicaid went without dental care. One potential solution is to license less-qualified “dental therapists” to carry out some basic services, such as filling cavities, that currently only dentists perform. Behind this effort is the experience of more than 50 countries and a few states that allow these mid-level providers to practice in public and private settings.

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