May 30, 2024

Safety-Net Patients’ Satisfaction With Oral Health Services by Provider Type and Intent to Return For More Care

Recent changes in dental workforce models, driven by rising demand for oral health services, have sparked discussions about the need for innovation and greater efficiency in the United States’ oral health care delivery system. Legislative action enabling new workforce models and expanding scopes of practice for the existing dental workforce has facilitated team-based approaches to providing care and the increasing use of alternative models of service delivery. However, some stakeholders within the current delivery system, particularly those hesitant to deviate from traditional practice models, have raised concerns about how these changes may affect the quality of patient care.

This article evaluates patient satisfaction with recent dental services provided by dentists, dental hygienists, and dental therapists at a safety-net dental organization, highlighting the benefits of introducing dental therapists to the oral health care team without compromising patient care quality or satisfaction.

Don’t have access to the full text? Email Simona Surdu ( to request a pdf version.

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