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CODA Gives OK For Mid-Level Provider Program Accreditation to Begin

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) has adopted standards for programs to educate mid-level dental providers, and on August 7 gave its approval for the accreditation process for dental therapy education programs.

Mid-Level ProviderThe Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) has adopted standards for programs to educate mid-level dental providers, and on August 7 gave its approval for the accreditation process for dental therapy education programs. CODA is an independent entity recognized by the United States Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for dental, allied dental, and advanced dental education programs. August 2016 will be the earliest that a program can achieve accreditation.

The new dental therapy standards stipulate that a dental therapy education program must provide at least 3 years of post-secondary education, although the achievement of a specific academic degree was not specified. CODA has created a committee to fully implement the accreditation process for such programs.

CODA’s decision to approve accreditation of mid-level provider programs demonstrates widespread support of the dental therapy designation in the oral health field, and in the public at-large. The dental therapy model was created to help address the nation’s dental health crisis, in which millions of Americans have little to no access to professional dental care. The use of mid-level providers to reach underserved communities continues to gain acceptance, despite opposition from the American Dental Association (ADA). Rather than support the mid-level provider model, the ADA has launched Action for Dental Health—a nationwide, community-based movement that relies on dentists to provide care to underserved communities.


From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. September 2015;13(9):16.

 

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