ADA responds to MLP critics; glass ionomers shine in root caries study

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

The debate over the viability of midlevel providers (MLPs) in dentistry and their potential role in helping to ease the access-to-care crisis continues.

In response to criticism of the ADA's recently released studies on the economic feasibility of MLPs, ADA President Dr. William Calnon is calling on the dental community to move beyond its disagreement over workforce issues and work together to ensure optimal oral health for all. Read more.

In a related feature, dental therapists -- aka, MLPs -- could dramatically improve access to care via school-based programs run by federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and increase the capacity of FQHCs to provide dental care to thousands of additional children, according to a new report by the Pew Center on the States.

Over in the Restoratives Community, a longitudinal study of a glass-ionomer root caries treatment has yielded some impressive results. According to the researchers, long-term success is technique-sensitive and radiographs are a key part of the process. Click here to read more.

Finally, the alarming growth of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) among young people has spurred research into its epidemiology, and mounting evidence strongly supports the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in this trend.

In our latest Leaders in Dentistry Q&A, Dr. Mine Tezal, a research professor at the University at Buffalo who publishes regularly on the association between chronic periodontitis, HPV, and HNSCC, discusses why she thinks labeling oral HPV infection as a sexually transmitted disease is misleading and when HPV vaccinations should be administered to young people.

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