The U.S. has a dentist distribution problem. Dental therapists could help. : The Indicator from Planet Money Dental therapists have been practicing in other parts of the world for decades, but in the U.S. they are relatively few and far between. Like a hygienist, dental therapists can do cleanings as well as some procedures usually reserved for dentists, like simple extractions. They could also be the solution to getting underserved, rural communities better oral care. Today on the show, new momentum for dental therapy and why the American Dental Association is pushing back.

Related episodes:
The value of good teeth

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Can dental therapists fill the gap in oral care?

Can dental therapists fill the gap in oral care?

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Olivier DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
Olivier DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Dental therapists have been practicing in other parts of the world for decades, but in the U.S. they are relatively few and far between. Like a hygienist, dental therapists can do cleanings as well as some procedures usually reserved for dentists, like simple extractions. They could also be the solution to getting underserved, rural communities better oral care. Today on the show, new momentum for dental therapy and why the American Dental Association is pushing back.

Related episodes:
The value of good teeth

For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Newsletter.