The American Association of Public Health Dentistry today announced the creation of a new expert panel to develop a two-year post secondary training and curriculum for dental therapists, with funding from the W.K Kellogg Foundation and the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation.
Dental therapists, a mid-level dental provider (which is described in more detail in a report released in Dec. 2009, provide preventive and basic dental repair services working under general supervision of a dentist. The AAPHD and the Kellogg Foundation believe that dental therapists can help solve the well-documented oral health access problems in the United States, where more than 48 million live in areas with few practicing dentists.
Over the next twelve months, the panel will establish goals for the model curriculum that could be adapted by university dental schools, community colleges or other institutions of higher learning in states licensing mid-level dental providers. The distinguished panel of dental deans and faculty will begin their work at the end of January under the direction of Dr. Caswell Evans, Jr., who also serves as chairman of the National Advisory Committee for the evaluation of Alaska’s dental therapist program.