Rosenblum: Minnesota dental therapy model goes nationwide

  • Article by: GAIL ROSENBLUM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 31, 2013 - 7:42 AM

Christy Fogarty was certified Feb. 15 as the state’s first advanced dental therapist, which is reason to cheer unless you’re 7-year-old Tia Seaberry.

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eugenolMar. 31, 13 3:26 PM

The majority of dentists in Minnesota employ their hygienists part time so they do not have to give them health care or other benefits and then turn around and complain that people do not take their "dental health seriously". Many also complain that hygienists, who need a college degree and a state license to work, and work daily with blood, saliva and other body fluids "make too much money" yet plumbers and electricians are paid more. Most people are aware prevention is the key to health. So how about allowing hygienists to set up their own clinics? There is no evidence I am aware of that this would pose any risk to patients; in fact many dentists leave the office early while patients are still in the chair. There has been a push nationwide to intentionally reduce the salaries of dental hygienists, who are mostly female, by opening many new hygiene schools. This was done NOT to serve the public, but to increase the profits of dentists, who have greatly increased the fees for dental cleanings ( which are done by the hygienists ) while capping the hygienists wages. There is no shortage of people available to do the necessary and needed work for the public, the problem is the territorial nature of the dental profession.

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