Some of this sounds familiar...


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10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
The Great White North
  1. Resident [Any Field]
    I should preface this with saying that I have NO idea what all goes into any form of dental education. I just found some of the following interesting. I also found some of their "arguments" a little on the absurd side.

    "I think the fear that dentists have is that (mid-level providers) are going to be independent, they're going to get in deep and try to pull teeth that they're not able and licensed to pull, that they're going to get into lots of trouble. That's the fear that a lot of dentists have," Helgeson said.

    He said licensing of mid-level dental providers in Minnesota ensures that doesn't happen. The key is oversight of their work by dentists, he said, which is required by the legislation passed in that state in 2009.

    "They're not hanging up their own separate shingle. They don't on the nursing side either," Helgeson said of nurse practitioners, now commonplace in the U.S. since licensing began for them in the 1960s. "You can scour the literature and you won't find stories of people who went in for a throat culture and the nurse practitioner decided to do a tonsillectomy."

    In Minnesota, dental therapists are required to have a management agreement with a dentist who oversees their work at remote sites sometimes via video telehealth connections. They are only allowed to practice in state-designated underserved areas, and their scope of work is limited. Further, Helgeson said, the dental therapists receive much of the same training as dentists, taking many classes side-by-side.
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