Traditional Dentistry Wary of Dental Therapists
Crystal Ann Baker isn't a dentist, but she fills cavities, pulls teeth and even performs children's root canals.
Baker, who treats low-income patients in St. Paul, Minn., is among the nation's first dental therapists—an innovative and controversial health position intended to fill socioeconomic and geographic gaps in dental care.
Therapists would be properly educated and would help close vast gaps in care that can lead to costly emergency room visits for dental problems, said Shelly Gehshan, director of the Children's Dental Campaign for the Pew Center on the States. Nationwide, 830,000 emergency room visits in 2009 were due to preventable dental problems, according to the center.
Read the full article at latimes.com.