Dental Hygiene ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-9-2018


The state of Minnesota developed the dental therapy workforce model to help alleviate the disparity in access to dental care. Despite success in other countries and acceptance by other professional organizations in the United States, some dentists continue to oppose this workforce model. The purpose of this study was to quantify Minnesota dentists’ attitudes regarding the utilization of dental therapists in that state. A survey was constructed that queried dentists’ opinion on dental therapists performing irreversible procedures and dental therapists alleviating the disparity in access to dental care. A stratified random sample of 1,000 dentists were invited to participate in an online survey. One hundred eighteen dentists responded (11.8%). The results indicated most dentists opposed dental therapists performing extractions of permanent teeth; however, results were mixed on dentists’ opinions for dental therapists performing restorations of primary and permanent teeth and cavity preparation. Further, results also indicated that the majority of dentist respondents did not believe dental therapists will alleviate the disparity in access to dental care.

Degree Name

Dental Hygiene

Level of Degree


Department Name

Dental Medicine

First Committee Member (Chair)

Christine Nathe, RDH, MS

Second Committee Member

Christina Calleros, RDH, MS

Third Committee Member

Lindsey M. Lee, RDH, MS




dental therapist, Minnesota, advanced dental therapist

Document Type