Dental Health Aides for Alaska Natives Observed by Dental Leaders and Professionals

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) led two outreach trips of local and national dental leaders and professionals to educate them about the use of dental health aide therapists to provide dental care to rural Alaska residents.

Dental health aide therapists perform a variety of services, including:

  • Oral health education.
  • Preventive services (fluoride, sealants and cleaning).
  • Fillings and uncomplicated extractions to reserve function and address pain and infection.

Key Results

  • ANTHC conducted two outreach trips with local and national dental leaders and professionals:

    • In all, some 25 local and national dental leaders and professionals participated in the two trips, which were held July 17–19, 2006 and May 13–17 2007.
    • Participants included representatives from local and national organizations.
    • The trips were designed to expose participants to the challenges of oral health care in Alaska. Participants observed:
      • Dental clinics operated by Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage.
      • A dental health aide therapist practicing in the village of Toksook Bay (population 532).
      • An itinerant dentist who operates a dental clinic in Kasigluk (population 543) with no permanent dental facility or running water.