Written by Dentistry Today Friday, 03 February 2012 21:14
Dental professionals should be paid differently and should be monitored more closely, according to a report by the Kellogg Foundation and the DentaQuest Institute.
The report suggested these changes based on the increasing cost of dental care and the inability of many people to receive dental care.
Dentistry is one the highest out-of-pocket healthcare costs, with prescription medicines topping the list, according to the report. May people can’t even afford any type of dental treatment.
The goal of the report was to create a discussion about the quality and accessibility of dental care, according to the Kellogg Foundation.
Some of the current issues include: (1) the rising cost of healthcare; (2) the possibility that dentists are not consistent in the type of care they offer; (3) the disparity in care among various populations; (4) raising awareness about the importance of dental care; (5) the idea that the government pays for just about 6 percent of dental care and that dental practices/patients are not part of a group looking to push improvements; and (7) little incentive to make the actual improvements.
People would stand to benefit greatly. Sending dental hygienists or assistants into areas where people are underserved in the amount of dental care they receive would do wonders. These people need preventive care to inhibit the problems that arise in the future.
If these changes are eventually made, however, it won’t be easy. Different dentists could have varying opinions on the same question. Many dentists also have their own practice and would be resistant to drastic changes.
Some problems with this study are that these reforms don’t account for the high cost of dental education. It also doesn’t explore cosmetics, which is a big part of dentistry but isn’t usually covered by insurance. The effectiveness of some of the changes can also be debated.