MeAgain

10+ Year Member
Sep 25, 2008
27
0
Status
Dentist
Dear Colleagues,
I was interviewed by the New York Times for an article on access to oral health care that is scheduled to run soon. The reporter's interest in this issue was sparked by a training program in Maine that teaches family practice residents to conduct oral health screenings, provide referrals to dentists and in extreme cases, perform extractions, when no dentist is available. The Maine Dental Association has had no hand in the project. However, the dentist who is training the physicians, Dr. Jim Schmidt, happens to be the current MDA president, which may well lead to confusion. Dr. Schmidt says the goal of the program is not to create dentists among physicians but rather to raise awareness among physicians that oral health care is an important part of overall health care and to stress the need for regular dental visits. That said, the phenomenon of physicians extracting teeth is the element in the program most likely to attract media attention. Clearly, this is no solution to improving access to oral health care, and we must continue to strongly advocate that dentists are the health professionals best qualified to provide oral health care.
The New York Times article may spark inquiries from members, policy makers or media in your state. The ADA has prepared talking points on this issue and a stand by press statement. Most recipients can access the talking points on the LOOP here.
Council Members can access that information here.
These talking points may be helpful to you if you receive inquiries. In addition, during the interview, I told the reporter about the grant the ADA Foundation has given to the American Academy of Pediatrics to help train pediatricians to conduct oral health screening and provide referrals to dentists. This information may also appear in the New York Times story, so we are also including a link to the ADA's press release about the grant to AAP.
Should you have questions about the New York Times article, please contact the ADA at 800-621-8099.

Sent out to ADA members
by John S. Findley, D.D.S.
President
 

pietrodds

10+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2008
180
1
Status
Dentist
It'd be fun to watch a physician with a set of forceps try to get a tooth out. They'd have a hard enough time with the local anesthetic. I understand the need to increase awareness within the medical community of dental issues but do we really need to teach them to do invasive procedures? The problem is not access to care but rather access to free care. Somewhere along the way, medicine and to a certain extent dentistry became a god-given right. This isn't just a problem in the state of Maine but then entire country is seeing a need for what people believe to be access to care. Should be interesting to see how it all plays out.
 

rdhdds1

10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
402
1
AZ
Status
Pre-Dental
My father told me not to long ago that in his medical practice they are training all of the NP/PA's to do oral exams, refer for gross carious lesions and apply topical fluoride to pediatric patients.

All they are doing is showing a 45 minutes video and then they are released.
 

rdhdds1

10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
402
1
AZ
Status
Pre-Dental
Nearly as much fun as watching a hygienist try it.
As an army PA my father was trained to perform those procedures, however, he admits to not having the expertise to perform them but in combat/field situations. He was only trained due the Army's protocals and says that he never once had to use that knowledge.

Nice jab there aphistis, nice jab.
 

aphistis

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2003
8,392
35
Indianapolis
Status
Attending Physician, Dentist
rdhdds1 said:
As an army PA my father was trained to perform those procedures, however, he admits to not having the expertise to perform them but in combat/field situations. He was only trained due the Army's protocals and says that he never once had to use that knowledge.
Sorry, man, but no dice. I believe you that your father completed the Army course, but if that's all he had, he was not sufficiently trained to be attempting extractions.
 

rdhdds1

10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
402
1
AZ
Status
Pre-Dental
Sorry, man. I believe you that your father completed the Army course, but if that's all he had, he was not trained to competently extract teeth.
Again nice jab.

I never said that my father was trained in any way shape or form as a dentist (neither did he). But the Army to this day still trains their PA's to perform extractions if the need arises in combat/field situations.

Competence. To Army "standards". He even states that he was glad that he never had to tread in the dental waters as he admits that doing extractions is not in his scope of practice but that he accepted responsibility as an Army PA bercause that is what he was trained and expected to do if the need ever arose.
 
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