Dental therapists are licensed oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic patient services. They are hired and supervised by dentists. Therapists perform tasks such as polishing teeth, filling cavities, replacing crowns, extracting baby teeth, taking X-rays, administering local anesthetic, repairing dental prosthetics, making mouthguards, and providing oral care advice to patients. They are typically employed in settings that serve low-income, uninsured, and underserved populations or in a dental he...
Minimum Education Level
Dental therapists earned average salaries of $59,589 in April 2021, according to Salary.com. Earnings ranged from $55,120 to $64,388. Most full-time dental therapists enjoy a full complement of benefits, including vacation and sick time as well as holidays and medical and dental insurance.
Working conditions for dental therapists who are employed in traditional dental offices are pleasant, with modern and adequately equipped facilities. In some underserved areas, dental facilities may be Spartan, and dental therapists may not have access to cutting-edge equipment or adequate supplies. A significant amount of travel may be required to reach patients in rural areas.
The field of dental therapy is becoming more accepted across the United States because there is a shortage of dental health professionals in rural areas (including tribal areas). Nearly 61 million people in the United States live in a dental Health Professional Shortage Area (https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/shortage-area/hpsa-find), as classified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services....