The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has launched a dental therapy online resource center to serve as an educational hub for consumer health advocates, philanthropy, journalists, policymakers, health professionals, parents, students, colleges and universities, and libraries to learn about dental therapy and how it can be used to improve oral healthcare.
“We are excited to share this important wealth of knowledge on dental therapy, curated from the expertise of many grantees and partners who are dedicated to promoting oral health equity for children and families,” said Patrick Simpson, director of food, health, and well-being with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The website offers a library of articles, documents, infographics, interactive tools, interviews, podcasts, social media, and videos from organizations and experts across the country that showcase the opportunities and benefits of dental therapists to improving oral health, the foundation reports.
The foundation also notes that oral health is critical to overall health, though many children in the United States cannot get access to dental care where they live and when they need it. Dental therapists could provide this preventive and restorative care, including cleanings, fillings, and simple extractions under the general supervision of a dentist.
Dental therapy is recognized as a profession in more than 50 countries. In the United States, dental therapists practice in Alaska, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington, while more states and tribes are considering how they can provide greater access to dental care in their communities.