We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Become a Dental Therapist?

By Angela Crout-Mitchell
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are several important steps that must be followed in order to become a dental therapist, including acquiring the correct educational background, applying to a dental program, and successfully completing the coursework. Dental therapist candidates also have to apply for their practicing license from the jurisdiction they plan to work in. The dental therapy field is comparative to that of a nurse practitioner in the medical field. Dental therapists are allowed to work under a licensed dentist and can extract teeth, perform cleaning, and teach patients about dental hygiene care. In many areas, these professionals are helping to make up for the lack of dental professionals and helping to provide dental care for outlying areas.

The first step to become a dental therapist is to complete no less than a high school diploma or general education equivalent (GED). Dental therapy courses are only offered from accredited colleges and universities, and eligible candidates must have an adequate educational background before being admitted. Each school has different requirements, and some expect students to submit entrance exam scores before admission. Traditional students can ask for assistance from their school's guidance counselor in meeting the requirements, and others can obtain the necessary paperwork from their school's alumni office.

In order to become a dental therapist, interested students must find and apply to a dental therapy program. This field of dentistry is relatively new, so there are limited colleges and universities that offer this particular field of study and you may have to relocate to continue your education. During your college academic career, you can expect the coursework to focus primarily on human anatomy and physiology, especially of the face and mouth, teeth and mouth pathologies, the effects of mouth pathologies on the rest of the body, and communication skills. Dental therapy students also study dental procedures in the classroom as well as in labs and clinical studies.

Assuming the candidate has successfully completed dental therapy training and education, the next step to become a dental therapist is to apply for a license from the jurisdiction you wish to practice in. Depending on your location, you could be expected to sit for a state, regional, or national exam, and some areas require more than one exam. Upon passing the test, the licensing agency typically performs a background check and collects fees for the license and exam. The time of your exam until the license is issued can range from a few weeks to a few months. Most jurisdictions require license renewal every two years and for the therapist to take continuing education courses.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.