Media Coverage

Contemporary Pediatrics: Would Dental Therapists in School-Based Clinics Improve Kids’ Access to Primary Dental Care?

Given the gaps in dental care in this country, particularly in children, some advocates are pushing for the introduction of a midlevel provider called a dental therapist who would do most of the basic work a dentist does.


Alaska and Minnesota already have dental therapists practicing. Although there are a variety of midlevel provider models that states are investigating, Oregon, Michigan, and Connecticut are considering or authorizing pilot projects; eight states have pending legislation; and there are expressions of interest in other states, according to Shelly Gehshan, director of Children’s Dental Policy at Pew Charitable Trusts, which is a key advocate for the change.

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Children's Dental Policy

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