North Dakotans for Dental Access
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What training do dental therapists get?

ND Dental Therapist Fact of the Day

You may be hearing that dental therapists don’t receive the education needed for their job …  
FACT: Dental therapy students are held to the SAME STANDARDS as those studying to become dentists. They take the same classes as dental students and must DEMONSTRATE THE SAME COMPETENCIES on the procedures they are trained to provide.

In August 2015, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the ACCREDITING BODY housed within the AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION for DENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS, implemented standards for dental therapy education programs. CODA accreditation means a program has achieved a NATIONALLY ACCEPTED LEVEL OF SAFETY AND QUALITY.

HB 1256 requires students to graduate from a CODA accredited program or one of the existing master’s level programs currently accredited by the Minnesota dental board which are currently working toward CODA accreditation. These programs are at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, which trains 42% of North Dakota’s dentists, and Metropolitan State University/Normandale Community College.
Dental therapists are trained to the SAME STANDARD AS DENTISTS on a smaller number of procedures.

Go to to learn more about how North Dakotans for Dental Access are supporting HB 1256!


Watchdog organization covers dental therapy discussion in ND

Watchdog News is keeping a close eye on HB 1256, as lawmakers in the state have a bill before them that would allow enterprising dentists to add an additional member, a dental therapist, to their team. This would provide better access to routine oral health procedures in the state. To read the full story, click here. According to a Bismarck Tribune article recently, 1 in 6 dentists in ND are interested in having this option.

National survey: 45 percent of U.S. voters said they go without needed dental care because of cost or lack of insurance

In a new survey, 45 percent of U.S. voters said they go without needed dental care because of cost or lack of insurance. But eight out of 10 respondents said they favor a way to mitigate this problem: adding mid-level dental providers, such as dental therapists, to dental care teams. The survey by Lake Research Partners found bipartisan support for dental therapists and in every major U.S. region. To view the full survey click here.

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