In reference to State Senator Peshlaki’s editorial (3/10/18) supporting the current dental therapist bill she brings up a valid point. The caries rate for children on our reservations is significantly higher than much of the rest of the population. But sending in under-trained dental therapists to perform irreversible, potentially harmful dental procedures is not the answer. The dental community’s opposition to this bill is not about dentists trying to preserve their profession, it’s about dentists wanting to preserve the quality of care to all of the citizens of Arizona, especially the under-served.
Anyone in support of this bill needs to be willing to send their loved ones (children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents) to, as well as be willing themselves to see a dental therapist that has no liability for their dental care. If they are not willing to do that themselves then they have no business supporting this issue and promoting it for “other people.”
Dentistry has always been one of the most trusted professions through the years and for good reason. The public puts incredible trust in us, our decisions and the care we provide. Dentists are not going to accept the premise or liability of sub-standard care. Dental therapists are not going to be hired by general dentists to increase quality of care, they are going to be hired by corporations and similarly motivated private practices for profit, plain and simple.
Revamping the Indian Health Service system will be a much better solution than compromising care to these individuals.
DALE, HALLBERG, DDS