Minnesota continues to suffer dental workforce shortages

The shortage of dental assistants and dental hygienists is causing some practices in Minnesota to cut their hours, according to an Oct. 16 report by NBC affiliate KTTC.

A major contributor to the shortage is the trend of older assistants and hygienists retiring and the pipeline not producing enough new staff to keep up.

Uptown Dental, a practice in Albert Lea, Minn., is one of the few providers in the area that accepts Medicare and Medicaid, causing it to be fully booked out until the spring. To keep up with demand, the practice has a few dental therapists that can perform fillings, stainless steel crowns and simple tooth extractions.

The Minnesota Department of Health is trying to bring more staff into the field by offering loan forgiveness options and hygienist collaborative practice work programs where dental hygienists provide care in community settings under the supervision of a dentist.

Source: Minnesota continues to suffer dental workforce shortages / Becker’s Dental + DSO Review

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