KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Global Review Offers Vote Of Confidence For Dental Therapists

A report released Tuesday suggests that, based on a worldwide review, dental therapists could help the U.S. address some of its difficulties with access to dental care.  

Medscape: Dental Therapists Supported By Large Kellogg Review
A review of more than 1100 reports from around the world suggests that dental therapists have offered safe and cost-effective dental care in most countries where they practice. … Kellogg and other philanthropic and public health organizations argue that midlevel providers (those with skills between those of dentists and hygienists) should be licensed more broadly in the United States because they would make dentistry more affordable by charging less than dentists for their services. The American Dental Association and many other organizations of dentists have opposed licensing anyone other than dentists to prepare or extract teeth or do any other irreversible procedure, arguing that only dentists are trained well enough to do these procedures safely (Harrison, 4/10).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: Dental Therapists Thrive On A Global Scale
Today a report released by the the W.K. Kellogg Foundation looks at 26 nations and territories' experiences with mid-level dental therapists, and found that they provide good quality, cost-effective care and, in many countries, provide improved access to care for children (Kulkarni, 4/10).

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