Written by Dentistry Today Thursday, 06 October 2011 14:44
CHICAGO (Oct. 5, 2011)—Yesterday, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation released survey results claiming that the majority of Americans support new non-dentist mid-level provider models to address access to care. The survey asked if Americans support or oppose "training licensed dental practitioners to provide preventive, routine dental care to people who are going without care."
"The manner in which the questions were posed may have caused some confusion among the public responding to the survey," says Howard Gamble, DDS, FAGD, president of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). "Members of the public may not have been aware that the question was referring to supporting or opposing 'non-dentist mid-level providers.' Mid-level providers do not have the same level of education as a dentist; they are non-dentists with as little as two years of post-high school training to perform clinical dental procedures that may be irreversible, on populations with the most complex health conditions, without the direct supervision of a dentist. Therefore, these midlevel providers could be putting the patient's oral and overall health at risk, and that is a concern to the AGD."