Plans progress to accredit dental therapist training

The agency responsible for overseeing dental education in the United States is moving forward with plans to establish a national accreditation process for dental therapist training programs.

In a move that was greeted with both criticism and praise, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) voted Aug. 7 to begin the accreditation process for programs to train non-dentists to perform certain dental procedures, including drilling and extracting teeth.

Such providers are already providing care on tribal lands in Alaska as well as in Minnesota. A number of other states are considering employing the dental therapists, who work as part of a team of providers supervised by dentists.

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