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Accreditation of dental therapy will set national standards

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the sole group tasked by the U.S. Department of Education with accrediting dental education and dental-related programs, voted to accredit dental therapy education in the U.S. (Background on dental therapy)

Currently, dental therapists are approved and licensed to practice in MaineMinnesota and Alaskan tribal communities, but their education programs are not accredited. Minnesota was the first state to license dental therapists (in 2011), and the University of Minnesota is the only dental school to educate dental therapists.

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beyond-minnesota

Improving dental therapy education in Rwanda

When the U.S.-based Rwanda Human Resources for Health (HRH), was tasked with rebuilding Rwanda’s only dentistry school, leaders faced a dilemma.

Dental therapists had practiced in Rwanda for several years, but their education wasn’t viewed as quite up-to-standard. HRH wanted to improve the education of dental therapy students to provide higher quality care in a clinical setting. But they didn’t have any experience with dental therapy.

They sought out Karl Self, D.D.S, Director of Dental Therapy at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry – the only dental school in the United States to train dental therapists.

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