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Recently the Public Broadcasting System aired this report on dental treatment in remote areas of Alaska performed by high school graduates with 18 - 24 months of on the job training in dentistry.
Treatments are remotely authorized by licensed dentists but there is not daily direct on-site supervision. Be warned that this video shows an incident of oral surgery performed by one of the therapists.
Lamentably, these are third-world circumstances and Mid-Level Dental Therapists are a third-world solution, which the Federal Government permits in Alaskan tribal areas.
However, now, the The Kellogg Foundation is using its sugar-frosted profits to fund committees in the lower 48 states to expand this concept to over 4000 US communities, nationwide.
Sterling K. Speirn, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation:
"It is time now for more states and tribal nations to seriously consider new and proven
approaches – such as the dental therapist model – as a way to bring critically needed oral health care services to vulnerable children and families”
Accordingly, the Kellogg Foundation has established a coalition of Community Organizers in the following states:
- Kansas-Kansas Action for Children
- New Mexico-Health Action New Mexico
- Ohio-Universal Health Care Action Network
- Vermont-Voices for Vermont’s Children
- Washington-Children's Alliance
The American Dental Association (ADA) has long enjoyed a working relationship with the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in producing a number of programs. The ADA is partners with Kellogg to offer the ADA/Kellogg Executive Management Program.
The program is a "mini-MBA" program designed for dentists who want to learn more about management from the nation’s top-rated management school. This is not a practice management course. The curriculum draws from the core content areas for Kellogg MBA students, including: business strategy, organizational leadership, marketing, finance, accounting, economics, quantitative methods, and information systems.
Kellogg Foundation has a long history of assisting community organizers to focus Consumer and Community Participation in shaping of the US health system to ensure quality, affordable health care for all.
Past graduates of the Kellogg School contribute in organized dentistry at every level throughout the United States. Their interests are often vectored toward management, insurance or dental organization service rather than clinical practice. In the instance of advocating mid-level therapy, Kellogg's relationship has generally co-opted the ADA organization, at the expense of traditionally excellent US Standards of Dental Care.
Expanded Duty Dental Assistantshave been successfully increasing dentists productivity while protecting patient outcomes with direct supervision of licensed dentists.
Promoting un supervised dental therapists, with limited training, will result in limited dental-first-aid patient care.
Kellogg's corporate conscience is alligned with The Kellogg Foundation to help mitigate the damage inflicted by their super-sweet cereal ingredients. (Kellogg Cereals Pushing Sugar)
Extending Airline Service to under-served destination cities might be achieved by giving Flight Attendants Crash Courses in How to Fly, but unsupervised Mid Level Dental Therapists, in the continental US, are a bad idea-no matter what sweeteners The W.H.Kellogg Foundation might add for the ADA.