The denturism initiative
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The denturism initiative

  • Published Date:

    1981 Sep-Oct

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 96(5):410-417
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.28 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
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  • Description:
    Denturism, an organized movement by dental laboratory technicians to increase their control over the provision of denture services to the public, has generated a great deal of controversy among members of organized dentistry, the National Denturist Association, the Federal Trade Commission, consumer groups, and prepaid dental plans.Denturism is currently legal in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon. In the first three States, the denturist must practice under the supervision of a dentist, but in Oregon the denturist is able to enter independent practice.The American Dental Association has held that a denturist is educationally unqualified to provide denture services directly to the consumer, Representatives of organized dentistry have characterized denturists as untrained and unskilled persons who would endanger the public's health and return one phase of dentistry to the apprentice system. They see denturism as constituting a major step backward in health care delivery and having an adverse effect on preventive dental care.The National Denturist Association, however, defines a denturist as a highly skilled person who specializes in the making of full and partial dentures. Denturists maintain that the dentist is an unnecessary middleman in the provision of denture services and is the primary cause of the high cost of dental prostheses. They contend that State dental laws providing that only dentists may render denture services have led to the high cost of these services without contributing significantly to the health and safety of the public.Organized dentistry in the United States has been fighting denturism in a number of ways. One that has met with considerable success has been the establishment of programs to provide people access to dental care, especially denture services, at lower costs. A second alternative under consideration is to license denturists but require them to practice under the supervision of a dentist. A third alternative under discussion is to expand the duties of existing dental auxiliary personnel.The final decision on denturism, however, will not be made by the dental profession or the denturists, but by the voting public and their elected representatives, based on the evidence they have before them.
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