Hamilton: License Dental Therapists to Liberate Dentists, Expand Treatment
In this special edition of the Health Care News Podcast, Michael T. Hamilton explains why lawmakers in North Dakota and other states should license dental therapists to practice as a free-market solution to oral health care shortages.
Graphic Designer Donny Kendal interviewed Hamilton about "The Case for Dental Therapy in North Dakota," a new Heartland policy brief coauthored by Hamilton, former North Dakota Rep. Bette Grande, and John D. Davidson.
In the handful of states allowing dental therapists to practice, therapists serve as members of dental teams supervised by dentists who have freely chosen to hire them. No dentist would be required to hire a dental therapist if lawmakers authorize therapists' licensure. Dentists who wish to expand their practices in shortage areas would be free to do so with these thoroughly trained and cost-effective providers.