Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dentistry Succumbing to the Mid-Level Craze

You are going to get what you pay for. We're headed back to the Barber-Surgeon days....

A while back I wrote about the emergence of mid level practitioners in my field (dentistry).

http://docv-downinthemouth.blogspot.com/2008/12/more-mid-level-practitioners-emerge.html

Alaska and Minnesota have begun to license such practitioners. In my opinion, the argument for and against is very similar to the controversy that goes on about PAs and NPs. Once again, I see the the problem not being their breadth of knowledge, but their depth.

While very little in my world is life threatening, there are those occasional "Oh @#$%!!!" moments especially with medically compromised patients. The very population that most of these mid level providers will treat is also the population that has problems with uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and so forth. I can teach just about anyone to pull a tooth or plug a filling but you have to remember that tooth is attached to a human being. You have to be ready to deal with the complications. Not all of dentistry is a mechanical art and that difference is what you pay me for.

Another blog on the subject:

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/10/08/armed-to-the-teeth-t.html

And a really great blog, "The American Way of Dentistry:

http://www.slate.com/id/2229633

1 comment:

Chrysalis Angel said...

Some people don't realize that in some cases even a local anesthetic can kill . There can be underlying health issues that may be an unknown at the time, and something routine can become a life and death situation quickly.