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.
So then why aren't the "qualified" dentists with doctorate degrees treating the above mentioned patients? It is the fact that these people can't "afford" to pay the hygiene fees charged in a dentist's clinic. Why wouldn't someone with the patiemts best intrest at heart be in favor of removing barriers to oral health care?
If hygienists are truly "less qualified" to provide hygiene services why would a dentist employ them?
This is a weak response by a dentist obviously fearful of losing the billings in their dental clinic by the hygienist going out on their own to practice.
Hygienist can refer a patient to variety of health care practitioners if required.