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Oral Health Initiative Oral Health Initiative

Dental Therapy

In the United States, the profession of Dental Therapy, also known as Dental Health Aide Therapists (DHATs), was initiated from within the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) that was established in 1968 in the Native Villages of Alaska. Dental therapists serve as midlevel providers and provide routine preventive and restorative dental work.  In 2018, Arizona became the seventh state to authorize the use of dental therapists in tribal communities, nonprofit dental clinics and federally qualified health centers.  Implementation efforts underway include: Rulemaking and Licensure, Medicaid reimbursement, Establishing dental therapy training programs, Recruiting and retaining American Indian/Alaska Native students and Planning and implementation by ITU dental clinics.

For more information on the implementation process, please contact:

Alida Montiel, Health Policy Director, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., PH: (602) 258 – 4822, Ext. 1575, Alida.Montiel@itcaonline.com

Kim Russell, Executive Director, Arizona Advisory Council on Indian Health Care, PH: (602) 542-5725, Kim.Russell@azahcccs.gov

Learn more about dental therapy:

Alaska's Dental Therapists are bringing back smiles

Dental Therapy Resource Guide

Report and Presentations from the Arizona Tribal Dental Therapy Forum (August 2018)