ADA study questions MLP research; time to vote for Excellence Awards finalists!

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

A systematic review of more than 7,000 studies of midlevel providers (MLPs) found insufficient evidence to support claims that utilizing new workforce models to perform surgical treatments improves the caries experience of the affected populations, according to the ADA.

The study, published in the current Journal of the American Dental Association, was conducted by a pediatric dentist, three public health dentists, and three private practitioners, all chosen by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.

However, the group's findings conflict with those of a comprehensive review conducted last year by Dr. David Nash and more than a dozen colleagues. That study, published by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, concluded that dental therapists in public programs caring for children improve access to care; provide safe, quality care resulting in improved oral health outcomes; and do so economically.

Click here to read Dr. Nash's analysis of the new ADA study, which he says does nothing to discredit the utilization of dental therapists in the workforce.

In other Practice Management Community news, a Seattle clinic has stepped in to fill the gap after Washington cut adult dental care from its Medicaid program, taking the pressure off hospital emergency rooms by extracting teeth before they become abscessed. Read more.

And over in the Restoratives Community, are redheaded women more likely than other patients to experience an inferior alveolar nerve block fail? Previous research has suggested a link between anesthetic failure and redheads. Now a new study in the Journal of Endodontics sheds more light on the subject.

Finally, voting in the final round of the 2012 DrBicuspid Dental Excellence Awards has begun. Don't miss this opportunity to honor dentistry's best and brightest! Click here to vote, or go to Voting ends midnight, January 13.