The American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) released a series of papers that highlight proposed curriculum guidelines for the training of dental therapists. A dental therapist is a mid-level oral health provider that works as a member of the dental team to expand access to oral health care and help address the severe dental care shortages that impact 49 million Americans.
The papers released by AAPHD look at the principles upon which a dental therapy program should be based; the recommended length of training programs; the competencies required for graduates; and the general educational curriculum of such programs. The proposed model curriculum is based on a two-year, post-secondary training program.
The papers are the work of an 11-person academic panel that was selected for expertise, experience and in-depth knowledge of dental education. The panel’s work was funded in part by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.
The entire collection of papers is available for download (free) and will also be published in a special issue, Volume 71:S2 of the peer-reviewed Journal of Public Health Dentistry later this month, June 2011.