Dental Therapy Timeline
This timeline demonstrates the progression of dental therapy from its beginnings in the tribal lands of Alaska to its current adoption or consideration in more than a dozen states.
- Alaska native communities with dental therapists had lower rates of tooth extractions and more preventive care than Alaska native communities without access to such care.
- In 2014, the first analysis of the effects of dental therapy in Minnesota was published.2,3 This evaluation determined the following:
- The practice of dental therapy was safe.
- The addition of dental therapists enabled clinics to treat more patients, all of whom are underserved.
- Decreased wait times and travel times for patients.
- Patients reported high levels of satisfaction with the care.
- American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Dental Therapy Is Authorized by State Law. Available at: adha.org/resources-docs/Expanding_ Access_to_Dental_Therapy.pdf. Accessed November 4, 2020.
- Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Board of Dentistry. Early Impacts of Dental Therapists in Minnesota: Report to the Minnesota Legislature. Available at: mn.gov/boards/assets/2014DentalTherapistReport_tcm21-45970_tcm21-313376.pdf. Accessed November 4, 2020.
- Brickle CM, Self KD. Dental therapists as new oral health practitioners: increasing access for underserved populations. J Dent Educ. 2017;81:eS65–eS72.
From Perspectives on the Midlevel Practitioner, a supplement to Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. November 2020(12):6.