Provide basic dental care to people who are far away from regular Dentists.
What does a Dental Health Aide Therapist do?
Dental care is a specialized arm of medicine. Although we’ve advanced beyond whiskey as a painkiller and rusty pliers as teeth pullers, dentistry still has limitations-the main one being that not everyone has access to dental care. In remote villages and communities around the world, Dental Health Aide Therapists help fill the gap between dental needs and the lack of available Dentists.
When you think about Alaska, you probably picture wildlife, Mt. McKinley, and the major cities of Fairbanks or Anchorage. But Alaska is a vast wilderness with thousands of people living off the grid. Not just the electrical grid, but the map of the world that includes roads.
These isolated people must travel by plane, boat, or sled to access dental care. As a Dental Health Aide Therapist, you live in the community and handle much of the care that would otherwise require a licensed Dentist.
Of course, your role as a Dental Health Aide Therapist is limited, because you’re not a Dentist. You do, however, pull teeth when necessary, order oral x-rays, provide rudimentary crowns, and handle emergencies. All of these tasks help minimize pain and infection for patients who otherwise would travel hundreds of miles, spend hundreds to thousands of dollars, or suffer until the Dentist made her round to town.
In addition, you minimize oral problems by working to add fluoride to the water supply, and educating Teachers, kids, and adults about proper oral hygiene.