Pew Charitable Trusts bills 2020 as big year for dental therapy

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Even in the midst of a pandemic, the dental therapy market made important progress in 2020 and is well-positioned for further advances in 2021, according to a recent analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Pew highlighted several key dental therapy developments in 2020, including the first accreditation of a dental therapy education program in the U.S. at Iļisaġvik College in Alaska, research studies showing the value of dental therapists, new rules for regulating the practice of dentistry in Maine, and new dental therapy licensure regulations in Nebraska.

The organization expects that this momentum for dental therapy will continue in 2021. At least 10 additional states will consider legislation this year for authorizing dental therapists to practice, while others will finalize licensure regulations, according to the Pew article.

"The new year also will see the launch of additional training programs to educate these crucial members of the dental team," wrote author Kristen Mizzi Angelone. "Together, these efforts will help make affordable dental care more accessible to everyone who needs it in the United States."

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