Supporting Dental Therapy through Title VII Training Programs: A Meaningful Strategy for Implementing Equitable Oral Health Care

Advisory Committee on Training in primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (ACTPCMD)

Nineteenth Annual Report to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Congress of the United States, July 2022

Dental therapists began practicing in the US in 2005.  Although dental therapy is still an emerging profession in this country, dental therapists have been practicing for more than 100 years in over 50 countries and territories worldwide. 

Despite the recognized importance of oral health in overall health, not everyone in the US benefits equally from the existing oral health care system.  The burden of disease impacts groups differently, creating health disparities among populations.  In oral health, disparities exist based on the lack of access to dental care due to insurance type, social determinants of health, socioeconomic status, age, race/ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, geography, and various other factors. 

Studies have shown that the use of dental therapists is associated with increased rates of preventive care, reduction in appointment wait times, and increased access. 

Click here to read the ACTPCMD’s Report, including their Executive Summary and Recommendations.