Karl D. Self, DDS, MBA

Associate Professor, Department of Primary Dental Care

Karl D. Self

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-625-2161

Office Address:
8-274 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Associate Professor, Department of Primary Dental Care

Division Director, Division of Dental Therapy

Interim Division Director, Division of Dental Hygiene

DDS, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, 1984

MBA, University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, 1992

BA, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1981


Dr Karl Self joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 2006 and in January of 2010, he was selected to be the Director of the newly created Division of Dental Therapy. In addition to managing all aspects of the implementation of this program, he is engaged in teaching dental, dental therapy, and dental hygiene students. His current research efforts are focused on the implementation of dental therapy in Minnesota; general research interests include as well as team based care, access to care, and global health.

Dr Self earned his DDS degree from the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry, and a MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. During his professional career he has been engaged in a variety of dental practice types including private practice and large group practice, yet he has spent most of his professional life in a community clinic. Other professional roles include a consultant for the Department of Human Services’ Medical Assistance program, the director of Diversity and Inclusivity for the School of Nursing, and executive director of a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center in Minneapolis. Dr Self serves on the board of a number of non-profit dental focused organizations and has been involved in improving oral healthcare in Africa.

Awards & Recognition

  • Rwanda Allied Health Professions Council Certificate of Recognition (2017)
  • Karl D. Self Student Achievement Award; an annual award created by the School of Dentistry Alumni Society (2015)
  • Inducted in the American College of Dentists (2015)
  • Fellow, ADEA Leadership Institute (2013 – 2014)
  • Social and Behavioral Science and Public Health research "Paper of the Year" award, School of Dentistry (2009)
  • Ralph H. Metcalfe, Sr. Chair, Marquette University (2004-2005)



  • C Brickle, K Self. Dental Therapists as New Oral Health Practitioners: Increasing Access for Underserved Populations. J Dent Educ 71 (9); eS65-eS72, 2017
  • K Self, C Brickle. Dental Therapy Education in Minnesota. Am J Public Health 107 (S1); S77-S80, 2017
  • K Self, N Lopez, CM Blue. Dental School Faculty Attitudes towards Dental Therapy – a Four Year Follow up. J Dent Educ 81 (5); 517-525, 2017
  • D Ede-Nichols, M Errante, C Hirschberg, K Self, C Wankiiri-Hale, A Palaiologou-Gallis. Overlap or Integration? The Reality of Dental Specialties. J West Soc of Periodontol 64 (4); 100-7, 2016
  • P Flynn, MT John, A Naik, N Kohli, JJ VanWormer, K Self. Psychometric properties of the English version of the Oral Health Literacy Adults Questionnaire. Community Dental Health 33; 274-280, 2016
  • A Naik, MT John, N Kohli, K Self, P Flynn. Validation of the English-language version of 5-item Oral Health Impact Profile. J Pros Research 60 (2); 85-91, 2016
  • K Self, D Born, A Nagy. Dental Therapy: Evolving in Minnesota’s Safety Net. Am J Public Health 104 (6); e63-e68, 2014
  • N Lopez, C Blue, K Self. Dental School Faculty Perceptions of and Attitudes Towards the New Dental Therapy Model. J Dent Educ 76 (4); 383-394, 2012
  • C Okunseri, D Girgis, K Self, S Jackson, E McGinley, T S Tarima. Factors Associated With Reported Need for Dental Care Among Homeless Persons Using Assistance Programs. Spec Care Dentist 30 (4); 146-150, 2010
  • N Lopez, K Self, J Karnitz. Developing a Tool for Systematic Inclusion of Non-Academic Factors in Dental School Admissions: Towards Building Diversity in the Dental Workforce. J of Dent Educ73 (12); 1347-52, 2009
  • C Okunseri, R Bajorunaite, A Abena, K Self, A Iacopino, G Flores. Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Acceptance of Medicaid Patients in Dental Practices. J of Public Health Dent 68 (3); 149-153, 2008
  • C Okunseri, K Self, D Born, and M Pineda. Dental Care Access for Hispanics in Minnesota: A Culturally Sensitive Medical and Dental Model. N.W. Dent 82 (4); 41-44, 2003