Colorado Approves Dental Therapists but Lacks Any Training Programs
While 13 states have authorized dental therapy, only Alaska, Minnesota, and Washington have educational programs to train dental therapists. Colorado, which authorized dental therapy in 2022 and will begin allowing licensed dental therapists to practice on May 1, is hoping to develop its own dental therapy education program—the sooner, the better. Colorado has five counties without a single dental provider and 53 of its 64 counties are designated as dental health provider shortage areas. Among Colorado kindergarteners, 44% have dental caries. Some critics of the dental therapy education plan note that the state already underfunds its dental and dental hygiene education programs. With more than 5.8 million residents, Colorado has only four dental hygiene programs and one dental school. Click here to read more.