3 benefits to dental therapists

Since the American Dental Association and Alaska Dental Society dropped their lawsuit in Alaska against dental therapists in 2017, they have been training dental therapists, the Alaska Dispatch News reports.

In rural Alaskan communities, there is a lack of dentists and dental therapists. A recent study by the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle, showed dental therapists are making an impact on oral health in Alaskan communities.

Here are four benefits to dental therapists:

1. Dental therapists can fill cavities, set temporary crowns, perform root canals in baby teeth, take x-rays, do cleanings and apply sealants and fluoride.

2. In communities without access to a dental therapist, the study found young children were nearly three times more likely to have one of their front teeth extracted compared to those that had access to dental therapists.

3. In areas with dental therapists, 47 percent of children received preventative care, compared to the 30 percent in those who do not have access to dental therapists.

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