I opened today's Rochester Post-Bulletin and was struck by a full-page ad paid for by the Minnesota Dental Association. It features a patient with his mouth open and two gloved hands clutching dental tools that are in his mouth. Above the picture it says "The last thing you want to hear when you're getting dental care is 'uh-oh.'"
The ad then goes on to single out Rochester Sen. Ann Lynch saying she "wants to allow a new type of dental worker to perform unsupervised surgery on you and your family."
The ad urges readers to call the Democrat's office and "tell her unsupervised workers doing dental surgery is a bad idea."
This all centers around Lynch's bill, which would create a new mid-level dental practitioner. The goal is to help address dental access problems — especially for some lower-income residents in the urban core and rural areas. The oral health practitioners would be allowed to fill cavities, pull teeth and prescribe certain medication.
The Minnesota Dental Association today launched a vigorous ad campaign against the proposal. It includes a full-page ad in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune and ads in other newspapers across the state. They are also doing some radio ads and Web-only ads. But it's safe to say the association is spending tens of thousands of dollars to get their message out.