The cost of dental hygiene has skyrocketed in recent years, especially in the US.
This year alone, a $3.4 billion dentistry program for underprivileged children was slashed from $2.6 billion to $1.8 billion.
That’s about 10% of the state budget.
The new program, called the dental hygiene bachelor’s degree, was originally conceived as a way to bring dentists in poor countries under the same roof and to help them stay in the industry longer.
“The degree is essentially a degree in dentistry.
It’s the same kind of education as you get in medical school, and you learn about how to operate and how to care for your teeth,” said Dr. David J. Shiffman, the program’s director and an associate professor at Columbia University’s School of Dental Medicine.
But when it was announced in October, the dental profession was horrified.
“There was a lot of concern that there were going to be some unintended consequences,” said J.J. Shishido, a professor of medicine at Duke University who has researched the dental industry for decades.
The program is the first of its kind in the United States and was meant to be a boon for people who were stuck in the toothbrush business after losing their jobs in the global recession.
But it also came with some downsides.
“It was going to require a lot more work.
We needed to go through some training,” said Shishidos colleague, Dr. Jeffrey L. Riese.
But Shishida and his colleagues were also concerned about the program, which has yet to get off the ground in the U.S. But the new program is getting some positive reviews.
In an editorial last week in the Journal of Dantean Dentistry, researchers say that despite the difficulties, the new dental degree is “an invaluable investment in the future of dentistry” and “could be a great starting point for future dentistry programs” in poor nations.
They also note that while the dental degree will likely require additional training, the money spent on it could be used for other programs in the program.
Shizuo Ishida, a dentist and associate professor of dentition at the University of California, Los Angeles, said he thinks the program could have been better organized.
“We were looking for a solution to dental hygiene in poor communities, which was more expensive,” Ishida said.
“This was the perfect solution to that problem.”
He added that he believes the program is “a good start” for the U