It’s the first time in nearly a century that the state’s state medical board has allowed dentists to practice dentistry outside the hospital setting.
It’s a move many have hailed as an important step forward for dentistry in North Carolinians who are struggling to pay for their treatment.
But it’s also sparking concerns.
Dr. John Schulz is a dentist in North Charlotte who says he’s worried about the potential backlash that could come from dentists working in a hospital setting for the first of two surgeries in the state.
The decision has prompted him to form a coalition called the Dentists for Dental Freedom (DDF) and is urging the board to reconsider the move.
Schulz said the board should give dentists the chance to practice outside the hospitals setting before it goes ahead.
“It’s the most logical step,” he said.
“We have a lot of dentists here that are very passionate about dental care, and they really believe in their patients and they love the profession.”
They’re very much committed to their patients, and I think it’s very important that we keep that commitment.
“Dental patients are also not being treated as the state is required under state law to do.
In January, the board voted to allow dentists and other dentists who work in the dental field to practice in the hospital, but the procedure will not be made available to dentists.
Schul says he will be open to the possibility of working in the community if the state allows it.”
I’m going to have a choice to choose to work in a community where I can make a difference in the lives of patients or if I’m going back to the community where the practice is not allowed, I can opt to continue to practice,” he says.”
When I look at the dental profession, we’ve always had to have patients and we have to treat them like individuals.
“So I think I can be patient enough to make the switch.”