Mid-level providers have been controversial, to say the least. A recent report published in JADA shows that mid-level providers are effective at treating caries but the financial structure of such an endeavor is in question. Check out the link above for an interesting discussion on why this may not be a cost-effective alternative to dentists. Of course I should also mention the concerns about having non-dentists provide surgical therapy to patients. And have we really treated the source of the problem or are we just applying more Band-Aids?
I think the most cost-effective alternative to surgical treatment is prevention of disease. What if those mid-level providers only provided non-surgical, reversible care? What if they focused on community education and referred patients to dental offices based on their needs?
Well that’s exactly what the Community Dental Health Coordinator does. There is no single solution to the many barriers to care, be they educational, geographical, or financial. But the CDHC is an awesome step in the right direction. Check out the short video below to learn more…