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In Alaska, Dental Therapists Seen As Helping To Improve Oral Health

November 26, 2019
by PEW


Dental therapists working in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (YK) Delta region in southwestern Alaska are helping to prevent oral health disease and improve quality of life, according to a new study that examines the views of dental providers and native community members.

The study, published in the Journal of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology on Aug. 29, was based on interviews with 125 residents with varying exposure to dental therapists as well as 16 health care providers working in that region. Conducted by a research team based at the University of Washington, this qualitative study follows up on an earlier analysis of 10 years of patient dental records of the YK Health Corporation, the nonprofit tribal organization that serves as the principal health care provider for delta residents.

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