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Continued: Rosenblum: Minnesota dental therapy model goes nationwide

  • Article by: GAIL ROSENBLUM , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 31, 2013 - 7:42 AM

After logging the required 2,000 hours of clinical experience, Fogarty’s advanced status allows her to work without on-site supervision, giving her flexibility to practice in such places as nursing homes, Head Start clinics, homeless shelters or emergency rooms. She also can do more complex procedures, such as removing adult teeth. But her heart belongs with children.

“These are binocular glasses,” she tells Tia. “They make your teeth look huge.” She gently squeezes Tia’s finger to show her the kind of pressure she’ll feel when her tooth is coming out.

Fogarty, a graduate of Metropolitan State University, practices at least once a week at the “crazy busy” Children’s Dental Services headquarters, seeing as many as 15 kids daily and pregnant women, too.

“Part of what got me interested in dental therapy,” said Fogarty, “was access problems everywhere. Dentists ask, ‘Now, explain to me again what you do?’ When they understand, they say, ‘Oh, that’s not such a big deal.’

“It’s one dentist at a time.”

 

gail.rosenblum@startribune.com 612-673-7350

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