Dental Therapy - A New Profession
Unique programs for aspiring dental professionals
In 2009, Minnesota became the first state to establish licensure of dental therapists, with the primary purpose to extend dental health to underserved populations. A dental therapist is a licensed oral health professional who practices as part of the dental team to provide educational, clinical and therapeutic patient services. Dental therapists provide basic preventive and restorative treatment to children and adults, and extractions of primary (baby) teeth under the supervision of a dentist. Dental therapists work primarily in settings that serve low-income, uninsured and underserved populations or in a dental health professional shortage area.
The Legislation created two types of dental therapists: Dental Therapist (DT) and Advanced Dental Therapist (ADT). The scopes of practice of these two provider types are very similar; the major difference lies in the level of supervision. To learn more about the Dental Therapy Legislation and the DT/ADT scopes of practice, please visit the Minnesota Board of Dentistry webpage.
Division of Dental Therapy
The School of Dentistry Division of Dental Therapy is located on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus in Moos Tower.
Our Mission: Improve oral health care delivery by educating dental therapists in a team-based environment and by advancing the profession of dental therapy.
Our Vision: The Division of Dental Therapy will promote the growth and development of the dental therapy program and profession through knowledge building and dissemination as a part of a collaborative effort to increase the acceptance of dental therapists as members of the health care team.