Navigating career pathways – dental therapists in the workforce: a report of the career path subcommittee


Dr. Karen Yoder, Indiana University School of Dentistry, 415 Lansing Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Tel.: 317-278-7872; Fax: 317-274-5425; e-mail: Karen Yoder is with Indiana University School of Dentistry.
Dominick DePaola, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Dental Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, 3200 South University, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328.Tel.: 954-262-7512; Fax: 954-262-1782; email: Dominick DePaola is with Nova Southeastern University.


Creating career pathways to facilitate current dental and other healthcare providers becoming dental therapists can be an efficient means to expand the dental workforce and reduce barriers to access to oral health services. Career pathways are proposed to facilitate dental providers building on previously learned skills to broaden their scope of practice and become even more versatile and productive providers of oral health services. Creation of a unified and integrated curriculum will enable research to document the effectiveness of this new dental provider who will work as part of dental teams and with supervision by dentists. The goal of augmenting the current dental team and reducing barriers to access to dental services for underserved populations can be enhanced by offering alternative pathways to achieve the competencies required of dental therapists.