Our dental friends are now going through what doctors have gone through and the same playbook is being used for them as it was used on us. What started as a way to help people in rural Alaska is now spreading. Dental therapists are performing extractions and administering fillings up there and dentists aren't liking it. A dental therapist has two years of training and now ten other states are considering "midlevel dental provider systems for underserved residents". Sound familiar? The article states that in Connecticut, where there is NO shortage of dentists, the midlevel providers “can be trained to do certain simple procedures safely,” and they would most likely work in public health clinics, seeing patients whom “most dentists will never see in their offices.” Sure they will. Beware the onslaught of the trojan horse....er, trojan tooth.
So to summarize today's and yesterday's blogs, I think that doctors and dentists would welcome more peers who decide to go through the rigorous training they did. Taking shortcuts, having less training, and hiding behind the ruse that you only want to do rural or poor care is not acceptable. We want colleagues and not competitors. The reason that the local or federal government or the hospitals or the insurance companies want you is economic only. You are being used as a pawn until they find someone cheaper than you.