As part of a community-driven solution, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium introduced the first successful dental therapist workforce in the United States in 2004. Dental Health Aide Therapists (ADTEP’s) provide culturally appropriate dental education and routine dental services in Alaska Native communities, usually their home village, within the scope of their training.
ADTEPs make important improvements in oral health for Alaska Native people in rural areas of our state. This model of dental care increases preventative care that help reduce high levels of cavities and other dental issues that lead to oral diseases.
Since 2004, they have expanded much-needed access to dental care and prevention services for more than 40,000 Alaska Native people living in 81 rural Alaska communities. In addition, we have formed a partnership with the Ilisgavik Tribal College and are now offering an Associate’s Degree in Dental Therapy.