• dentist;
  • dental health aide therapist;
  • dental therapist;
  • dental health education;
  • dental therapy curriculum;
  • public health dentistry


A panel of academicians was formed to develop an educational plan for dental therapists. The panel met over a 14-month period of time (2010-2011). The panel interviewed leadership from dental therapy educational programs in New Zealand, Canada, Alaska, and the University of Minnesota. The panel was structured into three subcommittees – principles, competencies, and curriculum to develop an educational plan for a 2-year postsecondary school dental therapy program. Reports from the three subcommittees are presented in this article along with introductory information and a discussion about the reports. A fourth subcommittee considered career pathways, and its report is presented as a separate article in this special issue. The final work of the panel was to consider accreditation issues regarding dental therapist programs, and its report is also presented in this issue.