Adequate Workforce

The American Dental Association released the first in a series of papers examining the challenges and solutions to bringing good oral health to the millions of Americans – including as many as one-quarter of the nation’s children – who lack access to dental care, many of them suffering with untreated disease.

The paper focuses on workforce, an umbrella term for the numbers, location and makeup of the teams comprising dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and other existing and proposed providers.

It also emphasizes that work force changes alone will never overcome the many barriers preventing too many Americans from attaining good oral health and warns that focusing on only this one barrier is “the policy equivalent of bailing a leaky boat.

WDA