Dental Therapy in the News

The ADTA Celebrates Newly Licensed Board Members

The ADTA congratulates board members, Immediate Past President Kari Ann Kuntzelman, and Treasurer Mark Kobylinsky on becoming newly licensed dental therapists in the State of Oregon.

Kuntzelman, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, moved to Alaska in 2017 to attend the Alaska Dental Therapy Education Program (ADTEP). Upon graduating from the program, she returned home to her urban community in Portland, Oregon, to give back to her people, and join the efforts to end oral health inequity. In 2019, Kuntzelman graduated from the ADTEP Program and worked under Dental Pilot Project #100 in the State of Oregon at the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest (NARA) for two and a half years. In April 2022, she joined the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board as a Dental Health Aide Education Specialist, advocating for dental therapists and other levels of dental health aides. On January 5th, 2023, Kuntzelman became the 11th licensed dental therapist in the State of Oregon.

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Scholarship Opportunities for AI/AN Students

If you are an American Indian/Alaska Native student looking for scholarship opportunities, below is a list of some scholarships to consider for the next academic year. 

The Cobell Scholarship  

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New Resource for Scope of Practice Laws and Regulations by State

Check out this great interactive tool by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center to learn the details of each state's laws and regulations for dental therapy!

Letter from the President

Dear Dental Therapy Community,

I'm so happy to be writing to you today, as I catch my breath from the whirlwind of activity and accomplishments these past few months. We have come a long way and I wanted to provide an update as my term approaches its end and I pass the baton to Sarah Chagnon, the incoming 2023 Board President. 

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National Gathering of Dental Therapy Students Quarterly Meeting

On October 22nd, dental therapy students were invited to attend a National Gathering of Dental Therapy Students hosted by Dominic Comerate, Alaska Dental Therapist and Board member. We were also joined by special guest David Martin, representing the United Kingdom Dental Therapy Association. The quarterly student gatherings are a place for students to meet, talk to each other and receive support from practicing dental therapists.  Attendees left with these key takeaways:

  1. Know your scope of work for the state you are going to practice inside and out, as scopes vary from state to state right now.  

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ADTA Annual Meeting 2022

The ADTA hosted their Annual Meeting virtually on October 18th. For the first time in ADTA history, supporters outside of ADTA membership were invited to join the meeting! The conference featured presentations by Dr. Sarah Shoffstall-Cone, Director Ilisagvik College/ANTHC; Dr. Rachael Hogan, Director, Skagit Valley College; Professor Danae Seyffer, University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry, Division of Dental Therapy; HRSA representatives Shane Rogers, Designated Federal Official Division of Medicine and Dentistry Bureau of Health Workforce Health Resources and Services Administration and Dr. Jennifer Holtzman, Subject Matter Expert for the Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (ACTPCMD); and updates on national, Tribal and state policies by Laura Brannon, Community Catalyst and Christina Peters, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. 

Participants also had the opportunity to register for CDE with Dr. Jeremy Horst, Director of Clinical Innovations, CareQuest; and Dr. Itai Jeffries; Manager, Paths (Re)Membered Project, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. We are grateful to our supporters, ARCORA Foundation and CareQuest Institute. 

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A Dental Health Aide Therapist's Perspective

ADTA President Kari Kuntzelman shares insight as a midlevel practitioner who works on nontribal land on the importance of the dental therapist provider. READ MORE @ DIMENSIONS OF DENTAL HYGIENE >

Success Story: Ko-Kwell Wellness Center

While working as a dentist in Bethel, Alaska in 1999, Dr. Mary Willard felt like she was “just putting out fires.” The lack of available dentists, in combination with patients’ fears of dental procedures, meant that Mary and others were seeing patients too late to avoid pulling teeth. It was during this time that she learned about Dental Health Aide Therapists... READ MORE @ INDIAN COUNTRY ECHO >