Authorization Status of Dental Therapists by State

Authors: Elizabeth Mertz, PhD | Aubri Kottek, MPH | Miranda Werts | Margaret Langelier, MSHSA

Topics: Oral Health, Primary Care, Staffing

Research Center: Oral Health Workforce Research Center

February 9, 2021

Dental therapists (DTs) are primary dental care practitioners that have been deployed in many countries around the world. There is increasingly strong evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of DTs, including their ability to promote community-based services and enhance oral health equity. Following the approval of education standards by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) in 2015, dental therapy gained increasing acceptance in the United States with states and tribal nations authorizing dental therapy. Dental therapy is rapidly becoming an established, growing profession in the US, although there is variation in legal authority across states and jurisdictions.

This interactive infographic describes the status of dental therapy in the US and details the specific requirements in state laws and regulations that define dental therapy practice.

View Interactive Infographic
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