The unexpected political power of (US) dentists…

Interesting article in The Washington Post about the reaction of the dental profession to the introduction of  alternatives to provide dental care in poor and rural areas. The alternatives include such innovations as dental therapists and “open access” to hygienist care.

The bill establishing a new provider type ultimately passed, but “it was brutal, very brutal,” recalled David Burns, a Republican state senator who retired after supporting the measure. Afterward, Burns said, he got a call from his dentist, who vowed never to treat him again, saying, “This relationship is over.”…

Most of the 200,000 dentists in America work solo, in offices that are essentially small businesses. They are known for projecting a remarkably unified voice on issues relating to their livelihood. The ADA (American Dental Association) says 64 percent (my emphasis) of dentists belong to the association. By comparison, only 25 percent of physicians belong to the American Medical Association.

Full article HERE

 

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