Document Detail

The influence of population oral health on the dental team.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22998299     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
This presentation focuses on the use of dental therapists as substitutes for dentists in the provision of some aspects of dental care. Our premise is that the use of therapists is a 'good thing' if it delivers a higher quality service. The care that may be provided by therapists is appropriate to population needs. They have been used to increase access to care in a number of countries by supplementing the volume and reach of services, which enhances equity. Therapists are socially acceptable where they are integrated into existing dental systems, but concerted work may be necessary to increase their acceptability if their use is to be introduced or expanded elsewhere. There is no reason to suspect that therapists offer less effective care than dentists, and available data are compatible with this view. More data may be required to lend political support for their greater use. The efficiency of teams is sensitive to the way in which they are organized and funded. Substitution of dentists by therapists within small dental teams creates complexities and costs that reduce efficiency. Conversely, where therapists can work with relative independence, diagnosing and treating patients without direct supervision, then efficiency may be high. Despite opportunities for improving the quality of care, the main barrier for increasing their use is the dental profession. Dental organizations tend to act as guilds, preventing or restricting the deployment of therapists. Dental public health practitioners therefore have a role as advocates for their greater use. At present, the use of therapists does not appear to be influenced by the health of the population.
Peter G Robinson; Thomas A Dyer; Dana Teusner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Community dentistry and oral epidemiology     Volume:  40 Suppl 2     ISSN:  1600-0528     ISO Abbreviation:  Community Dent Oral Epidemiol     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-09-24     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410263     Medline TA:  Community Dent Oral Epidemiol     Country:  Denmark    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  16-21     Citation Subset:  D; IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
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