A new Pew report, Expanding the Dental Team, examines how dental therapists are helping private dental practices serve low-income patients while also generating increased profits. Today over 90% of dentists own or work in private settings, but many don't accept Medicaid patients due to low reimbursements or administrative hurdles. Finding ways to help dentists treat more Medicaid patients, and more of the nearly 47 million Americans who live in dentist shortage areas, is critical.
Expanding the Dental Team looks at two private dental practices in Alaska and Minnesota that employ dental therapists, and Pew's analysis found that:
- Significant numbers of underserved patients were able to get care
- The practices continued generating profits.
- Dentists were able to focus on more complex procedures that generate higher revenue
Another dozen states are considering authorizing dental therapists and other new providers to expand the dental team. For more information on state efforts to expand the dental team, contact Julie Stitzel or visit our webpage.