Star Tribune: Health Beat: Dental Therapists Have CEO Smiling
When People’s Center Health Services in Minneapolis bought a little dental practice on Minnehaha Avenue in 2010, Peggy Metzer, the center’s CEO, didn’t think of herself as a trailblazer.
But today she has found herself thrust into the national spotlight on health reform as an advocate for using an innovative profession called dental therapists to improve patients’ health and reduce medical costs.
Metzer hired the clinic’s first dental therapist last year, added a second one six months ago and is so pleased with the results she expects to have a third on board within a year.
But they’re controversial, with some professional dentists’ organizations raising concerns. Minnesota and Alaska are the only states to license dental therapists, but several others are considering legislation to allow the new field. National health reform organizations, including The Pew Charitable Trusts, have launched campaigns to show how dental therapists can take pressure off primary care doctors and dentists, particularly as the Affordable Care Act rolls out and new patients seek care.
Read the full article at startribune.com.
- Children's Dental Policy