Empower Wisconsin
All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Dental therapists all smiles in Gopher State

By Kevyn Burger of the Badger Institute

Dr. Gary Plotz is the equivalent of a dental one-man-band.

The only dentist practicing in rural Murray County, Minnesota, (population 8700) Plotz, 40, works long days in his office in Slayton, 80 miles from Sioux Falls, SD and 180 miles from the Twin Cities. Plotz can give his patients implants, crowns, bridges and root canal procedures, perform minor oral surgical procedures and straighten and whiten their smiles.

But these days Plotz doesn’t spend much of his time on what dentists call ‘restorative care,’ drilling and filling cavities. For those appointments, and for exams and care for his pediatric patients, he relies on his dental therapist Lydia Diekmann.

“In our area we have a big need for basic services so it’s a perfect scenario for a dental therapist. Having Lydia on staff allows me to offer advanced care to a greater number of patients, with a shorter waiting time,” he said.

When its Legislature authorized dental therapists a decade ago, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to license dental therapists. It’s a profession that is new to the US but is common elsewhere in the world. The profession began in New Zealand in 1921 and now dental therapists proved care in more than 50 countries.

Like nurse practitioners who offer patients more care than a nurse but less than a physician, dental therapists are mid-level professionals who can provide more oral care than dental hygienists but less than dentists. Dental therapists are trained to provide routine health care services and build cost efficiencies into the health care system.

“Dental therapists allow the dentist to practice at the top of the license and meet complex treatment needs. They can do about 60 common procedures; dentists are trained to do hundreds,” explained Bridgett Anderson, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, which regulates the state’s dental profession.

Read the entire article here

Listen to more:

Explore More
Milwaukee alder compares police dogs to ‘Nazi Germany’ canines

Milwaukee alder compares police dogs to ‘Nazi Germany’ canines

Milwaukee Ald. Khalif Rainey, in a bid to defund the Milwaukee Police Department’s K-9 unit, is comparing the crime-fighting dogs to the canines used in Nazi Germany. 

Read More »

October 23, 2020
Mainstream media help Iran spread disinformation

Mainstream media help Iran spread disinformation

Members of the mainstream political media inadvertently furthered an Iranian disinformation campaign Wednesday by writing a number of viral reports suggesting that the far-right Proud Boys group was threatening Democratic voters via email.

Read More »

October 23, 2020
Dems walk out again

Dems walk out again

For Wisconsinites forced to suffer through the left’s political temper tantrum in 2011, Thursday’s walkout by the Democrats on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee might feel like a bit of deja vu. 

Read More »

October 23, 2020
Who Won?

Who Won?

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden clashed over alleged foreign financial entanglements in the final presidential debate on Thursday night.

Read More »

October 23, 2020
Kewaunee businesses hit hard by marina inaction

Kewaunee businesses hit hard by marina inaction

Vandenack says his business has taken a big hit from the city’s refusal to repair the Kewaunee marina’s boat launch and parking lot, idled for two seasons of boating — the lifeblood of this Lake Michigan city of nearly 3,000 residents.

Read More »

October 22, 2020
Dem Assembly candidate a no-show

Dem Assembly candidate a no-show

The Democrat running for Southeast Wisconsin’s 13th Assembly District has urged “smart development” for her community, but she hasn’t attended a single meeting of the Town of Brookfield development committee she was named to more than two years ago. 

Read More »

October 22, 2020
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *