Dental therapists will likely soon have certain standards to achieve to legally treat patients.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation, which is part of the American Dental Association, will create the standards for the programs used to train dental therapists.
As of now, the ADA is against dental treatment done by anyone other than a dentist.
This is important to the dental profession because there are some states in which dental therapists can perform a wide variety of tasks. In Minnesota, dental therapists can prepare teeth and place different kinds of restorations and crowns, while extracting teeth. The dental therapists can perform even more procedures in Alaska.
The positive aspect of dental therapists is that they will help more people receive dental treatment. They can be located in some of the less populated places in the United States as well as treat patients who couldn’t afford a dentist.
There are many people, however, that believe only dentists should perform some of the procedures vital to dentistry.
The new standards for dental therapists were put on the table at the behest of the University of Minnesota. Minnesota is the lone state where dental therapists are licensed to practice the way dentists can. Dental therapists are legally allowed to practice in some other communities as well.
There are some schools that may soon apply for accreditation to start dental therapy programs. The training would vary by school and state.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation is a recognized group, according to the US government, which means the programs would be able to receive federal funds if they were approved.
A task force will need to be created to develop the standards for the dental therapists and continue to monitor the standards.