Dental Therapy in Connecticut

Ensuring Access to Affordable
Dental Care in Connecticut

What is a dental therapist?

  • Dental therapists are highly-trained dental providers who work as part of the dental team, similar to a physician assistant in medicine.

  • Dental therapists provide restorative and preventive care such as exams and filling cavities.

  • Dental therapists work under the supervision of dentists, with teams of dental hygienists and dental assistants. After a period of direct supervision, they can work remotely from their supervising dentists, collaborating via telehealth technology. 

How do dental therapists improve access to dental care?

  • Dental therapists can work in traditional dental clinics, but they can also treat patients in community settings like schools, nursing homes, and mobile clinics.

  • Dental therapists are cost-effective to train and employ, enabling dentists and community health centers to see more Medicaid patients, reduce patient wait times, and divert emergency room usage.

How do dental therapists help communities?

  • Many communities and public health settings struggle to recruit and retain dental providers. Dental therapy focuses on educating individuals from underserved communities to meet these critical needs.

  • Dental therapists can be trained in community colleges, making the education accessible and affordable, and creating well -paying jobs in underserved communities.

Want to know more? 

View a dental therapy fact sheet here and share widely.