The Affordable Care Act has become the biggest driver of dentistry expansion in the country, and as the country struggles to pay its bills and the costs of dental care rise, it may be time to rethink the role of dentists.
Dentists may soon have a new job.
A study released Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that nearly half of Americans say they would work in the dental industry if it were fully insured.
That compares with just 8 percent who said they would go back to their traditional practice.
In contrast, the public is divided on whether dentists should continue to work as they do now.
About three-quarters of Americans (74 percent) say dentists shouldn’t go back into the business.
But only 42 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents say dentist should stay in the industry.
More than half of Republicans and more than half for independents say the industry should stay as it is today.
Democrats are more likely than independents to say dentistry should stay, with more than seven in 10 (69 percent) saying dentists in the United States should stay.
And more than eight in 10 Democrats (83 percent) and independents (85 percent) also say dentism is a profession worth keeping.
While Democrats and Republicans have divergent views on whether the profession should stay or go, the majority of Democrats also agree that it’s time to reconsider the role that dentists play in the health care system.
A quarter of Democrats say dentisting should remain in the business, as do more than two-thirds of independents.
About two-in-ten Republicans (22 percent) said dentistry is a career-saving profession that should stay and a third said it should be replaced by more patient-centered care.
The Pew Charited Trusts study, “Dentistry, Public Health, and the Future of Dentistry: The U.S. Dentists Vote,” surveyed nearly 1,000 U.N. employees and residents working in dentistry, health care, nursing home care, home health care and public health and found that dentistry has been the top industry in terms of employment growth.
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