If you are planning on going into healthcare or rethinking your career path, you may want to consider dentistry. Like many other health sectors, there is certainly a need; but unlike other sectors, Americans want to see their dentists more than other practitioners:
Dentists Top the List of Health Practitioners Americans Want to See More OfHere is some interesting information that was discovered by Delta Dental Plans Association. It seems that Americans would like to see a dentist more often than they currently do [dentists at 41%, dermatologists at 28%, gynecologists at 25%, etc]. The study is full of some really interesting stats and, being a bit of a “stat hound”, I was fascinated by some of the information presented. Here are 3 really interesting data points:
- 79% of American adults agree there is a connection between oral health and overall health
- Adults who are extremely satisfied with their oral health rate there overall wee-being [sic] as very good (48%), compared to those who report they are not satisfied (28%)
- 63%feel that good oral health helps them feel confident on a daily bases [sic], more so than having clear skin (56%) or being in shape (50%)
While both a “want” and “need” are in your favor for this career path, Dr. Brian Browne says that many dental services–even ones on Medicaid–were dropped on people’s insurance policies. So even if people need and want care, they may have to find alternative routes.
Dr. Browne says that if more basic services could be provided, then low-income families wouldn’t have such severe problems when they finally are able to see a dentist. You can learn more about this issue in the following video provided by abcnews.com:
One possible solution–if you want to work in a low-income community–is to look at dental therapy training. Like hygienists or nurses, dental therapists play more supportive roles at a dentist’s office. They are also able to provide the most commonly needed services, such as teeth cleanings. Although some people are hesitant about their credentials since dental therapists aren’t as common in the U.S. as other countries, these people are trained to handle a variety of pediatric and preventive procedures. If there were more dental therapists to help, many treatments could be more affordable.
Drbicuspid reported a survey recently that says that many U.S. voters support this occupation and its benefits:
Americans overwhelmingly support the concept of dental therapists, according to the results of a recent phone survey. Interviewers asked thousands of registered U.S. voters if they would like a new type of midlevel provider similar to a nurse practitioner, and 80% of respondents said yes . . .
Critics are concerned that dental therapists will not provide the same standard of care as a dentist. They also tend to be skeptical that therapists can increase access to dental care or reduce costs.
Meanwhile, proponents of midlevel providers point to evidence that dental therapists effectively reduce untreated caries, not only in the few U.S. states that have approved their use but also abroad. In addition, support for midlevel providers appears to be gaining momentum.
To learn more about dental career paths, talk with professionals at dentaloasisofoc.com/preventive-dentistry/ for tips or to get a feel for different services.