Alternative providers are playing an increasing role in dentistry, with more and more states expanding the roles of alternative or mid-level dental providers.
In our survey, half of dentist respondents said they are concerned about the level of care alternative dental providers can provide. In addition, over half believe that there should be fewer alternative providers than there already are.
On the other hand, 22% of dentists in this survey feel good about mid-level oral health providers and believe that alternative providers increase access to dental care.
Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss what dentists think about dentistry, dental hygienists, and alternative providers:
“There’s no real need for more of these non-dentist providers,” said a Nevada dentist. “If patients and dental insurance valued dental care with proper payment for services, they could use the existing infrastructure of dental availability.”
“We need MORE alternative dental providers to meet the needs of our population. This is the only way we will be able to meet present and future underserved,” said a Connecticut endodontist.
“We’ll need them when there is a public health system to employ them,” said an Illinois Dentist. “Otherwise, dental insurance companies and entrepreneurial dentists will employ them and use them to crush our ability to make a living in private practices.”