Friday, March 14, 2008

Dental Hygienists Lobby to Practice Independent of Dentists

Due to over zealous hygienist lobbying to law makers, and playing on the fact that the poor are not receiving dental care, the lobbying group for the Minnesota Dental Hygienists Assocation has been able to possibly move a step closer in enabling hygienists to practice dentistry independent of dentists -- according to the lastest news article, "'Super' Hygienist Threat to Dentists?"

Proponents of the proposal state it "provides access to oral care for millions of uninsured Americans, especially those in rural areas, inner cities, and suburbs."

Excuse me, but this proposal is really a major disservice to the poor -- who have a tough life to begin with.

Often the poor and uninsured suffer from complex medical issues which further impede them from working. They need the proper assessment of a trained dentist who has a doctorate degree and is able to properly assess their health history and how the dental treatment will be impacted by their current medical situation.

The poor are human beings with rights, and to think that having a less qualified person care for them is right . . . well, someone needs to look at the ethetics involved and their moral compass. Egos are in the way.

According the article linked above, the ADA has its reservations about the bill.

"In a recent statement the ADA urges, 'lawmakers to reject this legislation and work with the dental community on a more workable solution.'"

What is wrong with the ADA? Their statement was weak. This is not the answer and they need to have more incentives and programs in place that rotate new dentists into clinics that serve the poor. The Minnesota dental school cited in the article does not allow dental patients on government assistance to be patients. Why not? That would help allivate some of the problem.

Looking to Canada and other countries who have this model should be enough to prove it does not work.


kath said...

We understand the issues of the less fortunate not able to get dental care. We are White2th, a dental specialty store that carries HARD TO FIND dental products which help to prevent and slow things like gingivitis and periodontal disease. We have SO MANY customers that can't afford dental visits. In fact, we have a program in Springfield MA where a person can WALK-IN for $35 and have their teeth clean by a hygiene student and checked by a Dr. It's an awesome option for many. For those who want to continue oral health care at home, after a dental visit, I would suggest you call or visit us @ The owner of the store is a Hygienist who is very passionate about her mission and knows that a healthy mouth is a healthy body. Thx, Kath

MPRyan said...

Dental hygienists are exceptionally skilled dental professionals. They have a rigorous educational background which includes clinical “hands on” experience prior to graduating and obtaining a LICENSE TO PRACTICE HYGIENE. Therefore, they are rightly considered experts in their field of well….dental hygiene! If patients need care that falls within the scope of the dental hygienist; I hardly think this could be construed as a "disservice" as you put it. VERY POOR CHOICE OF WORDS! The point is, hygienists are not looking to take over the world; they are only looking to help those in need. I find this blog very amusing at best! In states like Alabama and Kansas the hygienist has been threatened to near extinction. Dentists gladly lobby for “scaling assistants” to do a registered hygienists job but when the tables are turned and other options are brought to the table, those same dentists are up in arms and cry “The poor public and their needs.” What a bunch of hypocritical whiners. The point still stands and the public can see through all the bullsh*t….the truth……dentists are scared to lose their beloved hygienists and their money making “engines” of their practice. Period. Any questions?

Helaine Smith, DMD said...


I think hygienists are a wonderful part of the team. Thank you for sharing your perspective.