Illinois dentists face worker shortage

Staffing shortages are affecting dentists across Illinois, according to a Jan. 24 WTTW article.

Scott Tomar, DMD, associate dean for prevention and public health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, said the shortages are not only affecting private practices but other healthcare centers and UIC's dental school as well.

"We currently have a shortage in many clinics of dental assistants. It slows things down and our student dentists are not able to work as efficiently when we don't have adequate support staff," Dr. Tomar told WTTW.

The two main changes that Kirk Noraian, DDS, communication chair of the Illinois State Dental Society, is proposing are the expansion of teledentistry and addressing the workforce shortage issue. He hopes that after receiving approved training, dental assistants will be allowed to provide more patient services under the direct care of a licensed dentist to help with workforce shortages.

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