• Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Health care and dental benefits with Dr. Fred SharpeDental Management: Nat’l Requirements for Dentists

Dr. Fred Sharpe, Chief Dental Officer for Avesis, addresses this question of dental management: "We now have OSHA, HIPAA, NBDP, NPI and lots of other national requirements for dental practices. When will it end?"

"Well, I’m not sure," says Dr. Sharpe. "I think we’re headed toward national dental licensure. The regional licensures are gaining traction and a lot of states are now accepting license by credentials, so I would think that we’re heading to something of a more national dental license program, which would then equalize the national programs.

"I think the real question that dentists have is what about the foreign dentists that come in to this country and want to practice. To this point, most of them have been required to basically do the clinical half of dental school if not more depending on which state is involved.

"In my mind, the question would be, is a government that’s looking for dental practitioners to deal with a growing Medicaid population going to look at the regulations relative to dental licenses and do something to allow that to become easier?

"I don’t know that, but clearly, we’re not growing the number of dentists in this country too much. The number of dentists that are my age and considering retirement is growing rapidly. The greatest number of dentists ever graduated was in 1978 and the dentist graduation numbers dropped consistently for 15 to 20 years, they leveled off and there had been, I believe four new dental schools that have been created and the North Carolina school may be the fifth over the last ten years, so the numbers are creeping back slightly.

"But realistically, today we’re graduating two-thirds the number of dentists in America that we graduated in 1978. So the numbers just don’t add up if our population continues to grow."

Dr. Fred Sharpe, DDS, is a managed healthcare and dental benefits advisor. He is Chief Dental Officer at Avesis, which offers an array of vision, dental and hearing programs.

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3 Responses

  1. Dear Fred,
    The same mindset which has slowly made it’s way into the “Washington knows how to do it best” mentality , has happened in our profession of dentistry. If you put a frog in a pan of water and turn the heat up ever-so-slowly, he will not jump out and boil to death.
    This has been happening to us for the past 30 years. The ADA is interested in only it’s own prosperity. IT IS TIME TO JUMP OUT OF THE POT! Don’t pay your ADA dues and fight for the political candidates that want to strengthen state’s rights. Build up a war chest in your state and local societies.
    I was on the board of dental examiners in Florida. Believe me, we need to keep the license out of the hands of educators and politicians. We are the dental authorities! Let,s start acting like it!
    Mel Livernois

  2. 2
    hilton title 

    The advent of Fluoride has proven that we had TOO MANY DENTISTS from 1980 THROUGH TODAY. Inner city, lower socioeconomic citizens with zero oral hygiene practices are still not getting cavities like we once did prior to the 1960s.

    Usually their first dental encounter is when their wisdom teeth start to hurt them!!

    Tooth decay has been decreased by over 50% due to fluoride.

  3. 3
    Gerald Levin 

    National Reciprocity. Here we go again. We’ ve been talking about it since the days of Painless Parker and even when I graduated in 1978 it was a hot topic. Here we are a hundred years later (so it seems) and we are still talking about it. But I can understand why those dentists in FL don’t want us under-qualified dentists entering their turf. They have the best training in the world and EVERY dentist in FL deserves to keep every non-Florida dentist out of their state. Why should they let us incompetent dentists into their state?

    We need to do one or the other. National reciprocity or lets do the complete opposite. Lets restrict the practice of dentistry not by state, but by city. Yeah, my city is better than your city and don’t you dare enter with your incompetence.

    LOL. What a f’king joke. I quit the ADA years ago as my personal protest against their lack of interest in giving me the right to practice where I want. Yeah, they say its out of their hands and its in the hands of the politicians of each state. I say to the ADA, BS.
    Your inaction will let this problem continue ad nauseum. Yeah, I’m pretty nauseated with this whole reciprocity cr@p. Its all about a turf war and restriction of trade. Plain and simple.

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