On Feb. 20, 2017, “NBC Nightly News” aired a segment on dental therapists as a growing solution to the lack of access to dental care across the country. The story demonstrated that dental therapists receive the same amount of training as dentists in the limited number of procedures they are licensed to perform. The program also highlighted how dental therapists have successfully operated in Minnesota and Alaska. NBC interviewed a practicing dental therapist in Minnesota and a family whose children have been able to receive treatment.
In addition, the piece noted that many patients are currently unable to receive dental care because of cost. The segment concluded that dental therapy could increase access for low-income patients, children, and rural residents.
Midlevel providers are helping dentists increase access to care.