A shortage of dentists spurred Minnesota to license dental therapists, and several other states may follow suit, USA Today reports. Meanwhile, a health plan in rural South Dakota and Minnesota is hiring Native American healers as consultants.
USA Today: Dental Therapists Aim To Fill Dental-Care Gap
With a growing number of people on medical assistance or without insurance needing dental care and an insufficient number of dentists, "The need for dental therapists is huge," says (Megan) Meyer, among the first nine graduates of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry's Dental Therapy program in 2011. The school's second graduating class of nine students received their degrees earlier this month. ... Although Minnesota is currently the only state to license dental therapists, a number of others, including California, Kansas, Maine and New Hampshire, are considering such midlevel providers (Healy, 1/2).