Some are advocating the use of dental therapists on children to perform regular dental cleanings, given the rise of dental decay in children. Originating out of more remote areas, such as Alaska, that are pretty inaccessible for dentists, the thinking that using dental therapists is "something is better than nothing," according to Dr. Roger Briggs, of Briggs Family Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Dr. Briggs feels that in children, their development is as important as the decay, there needs to be some direct supervision by a dentist. While he's not opposed to having a therapist with training, he does feel it should be carried under supervision of a dentist.
With these mid-level providers, Dr. Briggs says they don't have the level of training and experience to make good diagnostics. While he thinks there's a place for them, caution must be taken in over-reaching and putting too much pressure on them.
Dr. Roger Briggs is with Briggs Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Briggs is a leading dental expert with Dentist News Network, providing online, on-demand dental news video content across many dental specialties. Dentist News Network is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.