Minnesota is First
The idea of a mid-level dental provider was first mentioned seriously in Minnesota in about 2006. Although Alaska had previously instituted a different mid-level practitioner model, the Dental Health Aide Therapist, who practices on Alaska American Indian reservations, Minnesota is the first state to enact legislation (2009) allowing the practice of dental therapy; Minnesota Statutes 150A.05 and 150A.105 and 150A.106.
An increased ability to meet the dental needs for underserved populations was a driving force in Minnesota for the establishment of a new mid-level dental practitioner. Minnesota's experience should prove useful in other states with similar goals to maintain high educational standards, to provide a high quality of care and patient safety, and to meet the oral healthcare needs of underserved populations.
Dental Therapy throughout the World
Dental therapy is not unique to the United States, and is practiced in many countries around the globe.
Two Mid-Level Practitioners
Minnesota has established quality educational programs for educating dental therapists and advanced dental therapists. Learn more about these programs using the buttons above to the left.