A health advocacy group is working to bring mid-level dental practitioners to New Mexico in hopes of alleviating a dentist shortage, especially in the state's rural regions. House Bill 17, supported by nonprofit Health Action New Mexico, would license dental therapists, who would perform common dental procedures, such as exams, X-rays and fillings, but would operate under an off-site dentist, similar to a physician assistant working under a physician. Patients would still go to dentists for more complex treatments such as oral surgeries or root canals. "New Mexico has been on the cutting edge of using mid-level" practitioners, and the...
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Mid-level practitioners might conceivably help in dentistry, but they haven't in medicine. What would really help is transparency in pricing, and less use of 3rd party payers including especially insurance. People might reasonably want to insure against the risk of a car wreck knocking out all their teeth, but most insurance merely enables the shell game of pricing opacity that makes dentistry and medicine unaffordable.
My dentist is all the way affordable, but than again, I don't have dental insurance, so he works for cash. I always leave his office feeling like I stole from them,,,,
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