Accrediting body vote recognizes dental therapy as a profession

Statement of David Jordan, director of Community Catalyst’s Dental Access Project, on the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)’s Friday, August 8 vote to implement dental therapy education standards.

BOSTON — “Community Catalyst applauds the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) for voting to implement dental therapy education standards. The vote means dentistry’s accrediting body fully recognizes dental therapy as a profession and will move forward with accrediting dental therapy training institutions – possibly within the next year. 

“Friday’s vote underscores the overwhelming support for dental therapy from the public and within the dental industry to increase access to dental care for the 181 million Americans who go without a visit to a dentist each year.

“The implementation of standards will provide needed guidance to policymakers in more than 10 states across the country considering dental therapy as a way to address substantial unmet oral health needs in their communities. CODA’S vote is also critical recognition of the strong evidence that dental therapy training programs prepare dental therapists to provide high-quality oral health care.  

“Dentists, dental professionals, educators, advocacy groups, health leaders and, most importantly, community groups who understand the significant barriers many Americans face in gaining access to dental care voiced support for implementing dental therapy education standards and for the development of training standards that were adopted in February of 2015.

“With recognition from CODA, dental therapy programs are well on their way to training dental therapists who will improve access to affordable care in underserved communities, help control costs, and create economic impact and opportunities in vulnerable communities.”


About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable, quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit Read our blog at Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.