Dr Carl Ebert, Denturist advocator, Minnesota, USA - 2007-06-06 on our previous Visitor’s Comment.
From my perspective as a Dentist, I see dental services in general in Minnesota and the U.S. moving even further out of reach for those without health insurance or the financial resources to afford care. Dentistry is perhaps moving even more in the direction of discretionary services such as cosmetic care, implants, etc. For these reasons, I have long been an advocate of increasing the clinical responsibilities of dental auxiliaries and to explore how we might bring in mid-level practitioners to target oral health care for persons on public programs and those that are poor. The opposition to Denturism by organized dentistry in many states of the U.S. was brutally misleading and, ultimately devastating to the passage of any policy to allow Denturism. They have a lot to protect and fear losing any small portion of the business to which they have been granted exclusive rights. Organized Dentistry sees Denturism as a threat and a turf war, but should understand the necessity to find solutions for those not served by the dental profession. South African Dentists would probably feed me to the sharks for my comments. I became involved in advocating the passing of a Denturism Bill in Minnesota and am interested in Denturism as a new level of dental professional for at least two reasons. First, poor people have a much higher incidence of needed partial or full dentures and have less access to those services. Denturism could help reduce the gap between need and provision of care. Secondly, Denturists have gone through far more rigorous programs to become competent in making dentures than the vast majority of Dentists in their training programs. I now limit my practice to mostly making dentures in a community clinic setting and am painfully aware of how my dental education left me with, at best, a sketchy sense of how to fabricate dentures. I have had to learn most on my own and have also found that the resources for continuing education in removable prosthodontics are extremely limited. Further, my experiences in working with Denturists when I was an exchange dental student in Denmark were remarkably rewarding and inspiring — they clearly were competent and caring professionals”.