Apple Tree Dental has long been a proponent of including Dental Therapists as a critical part of dental care teams. And, Apple Tree employs about 10 percent of the Dental Therapists currently licensed in the state of Minnesota. Unsurprisingly, these clinicians have played a major role in providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On June 25, Pew Trust published an article describing how Minnesota’s Dental Therapists have adjusted their work during this time. Advanced Dental Therapist Heather Luebben, who joined Apple Tree’s team in 2008, was interviewed alongside Christy Jo Fogarty of Children’s Dental Services to explain her role in providing emergency and priority dental care during this time.
“Teledentistry and minimally invasive dentistry are the wave of the future,” Heather explained in the interview. Since the start of the pandemic, Apple Tree has been working to implement more widespread use of Telehealth appointments, particularly to triage patient dental issues before scheduling in-person appointments.
So, how are Dental Therapists playing a crucial role on the dental team during the pandemic? According to Heather, dental offices can experience an “economic advantage to employing lower-cost advanced dental therapists” in order to care for patients who are suffering from tooth decay.