Change Is Constant
Lorene G. Kent, RDH, BA, is the publisher of Dimensions of Dental Hygiene and the president of Belmont Business Media in Santa Ana, California. Prior to entering the world of publishing, she was a practicing dental hygienist for more than 25 years. Kent is also an honorary member of Sigma Phi Alpha, the National Dental Hygiene Honor Society, and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Dental Trade Alliance (DTA) and DTA Foundation.
You are likely familiar with these words of wisdom from the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus: “The only constant in life is change.” And they could not be more true today in the oral healthcare field. While some may find change daunting, it can also provide unexpected opportunity.
In this issue of Perspectives on the Midlevel Practitioner, change is a theme that runs throughout. The United States has always struggled with an access-to-care problem, but it seems more efforts are being directed to specifically target the issue of individuals needing professional dental care but not being able to find it, frequently due to cost or lack of providers.
Several authors provide insight into possible solutions to this pervasive problem—from integrating dental care into traditional medical care to improving license portability to broadening the reach of dental therapy to adding a dental benefit to Medicare. We also take a close look at the status of workplace issues for dental hygienists.
Access to care is a longstanding problem and it won’t be solved simply or quickly.
As opportunities for dental therapists continue to grow, Perspectives is excited to add Dental Health Aide Therapist Kari Kuntzelman, DHAT, to our Editorial Advisory Board. She currently provides patient care at NARA Dental, Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest Inc in Portland, Oregon, and serves as president of the American Dental Therapy Association.
“Expanding quality, patient-centered oral healthcare is a passion I never knew I had before becoming a dental therapist. To join the Perspectives’ Editorial Advisory Board as the voice of a dental therapist is a true honor. I look forward to collaborating with other professionals to expand oral health equity to all Americans,” Kuntzelman shared.
Access to care is a longstanding problem and it won’t be solved simply or quickly. However, with a variety of solutions being posed and the energy of many in the field who are dedicated to solving this issue, hope abounds!
From Perspectives on the Midlevel Practitioner, a supplement to Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. October 2022;9(10):5.