I read with interest Betty King Sutton’s Oct. 8 letter “Dental opportunity” regarding the lack of dental care for the indigent. As a hygienist who has a passion for helping those in need, my frustration is that N.C. will not recognize my N.Y. license. I’m not about to retake my boards because I want to work only in a volunteer capacity.
I volunteer with the Baptist Men’s Dental Bus, but it is frustrating when they need a cleaning done and I’m not able to help. I feel a burden for migrant workers and the underinsured, who are in need of preventive care. How about our senior citizens? Our government is concerned about Medicare, yet it offers no dental coverage.
I do think it would improve access to care if those of us with proven track records in the dental profession were given a little leeway to practice in a volunteer capacity. Look at the nursing profession: They literally have people’s lives in their hands, yet all they need to do is to fill out an application, and they are permitted to practice in other states. Why is the dental profession so reluctant to follow nursing’s lead?