Polling data highlight strong support for mid-level dental practitioners

Americans, across the partisan spectrum, support the licensing of so-called mid-level dental practitioners like dental therapists. This is the finding of new polling data from the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation.

Conducted at the end of June, the ATRF poll found that 79% of likely voters support the creation of mid-level providers that could perform dental care services such as basic extractions and hygiene plans

And, despite what seems to be a gaping philosophical gulf between conservatives and liberals, red-states and blue-states in this Election Year, support for dental therapists and mid-level practitioners was remarkably consistent (and strong) across partisan lines.

Grover Norquist, the national anti-tax activist who often draws the ire of left-wing activists, has explained why he and his organization supports these reforms.

In an interview with Wendell Potter at the Huffington Post, ATR president Grover Norquist went further in explaining his organization’s interest in the issue:

“When I asked Norquist recently why he has gotten involved in the fight to expand the dental workforce to include mid-levels—often called dental therapists—he told me it’s because, in his view, opponents are engaging in tactics to preserve a profitable status quo at the expense of millions of Americans. To him, this smacks of “crony capitalism” in which businesses and professionals exert influence on government officials, usually through campaign contributions and lobbyists, to get favorable treatment.”

Of the opportunities these new mid-level dental practitioner positions present, Grover went on to note:

“It’s going to have significant pay off, not only for people trying to move ahead in their careers and for consumers who need dental care” but also for dentists, who, Norquist notes, will be able to spend more time doing more complex, higher end procedures.”

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