Mid-level practitioners in oral health: Tennessee dental professional’s attitudes and perceptions of the dental therapist workforce model

Academic Article


  • Objectives. To determine Tennessee dentists’ knowledge and attitudes about the Dental Therapist Workforce Model (DTWM), as one means of expanding access to oral health care. Methods. We surveyed 1,047 general dentists in Tennessee to determine their attitudes and perceptions of the DTWM. We used descriptive statistics such as frequency distributions for demographic variables. For additional analyses, we used analysis of variance and chi-square. Results. We received 418 completed responses, for a response rate of 40%. While dentists believed they had a responsibility to provide care to the underserved, and that the DTWM would help improve access, the majority had a negative opinion of the impact dental therapists will have on dentistry, in regard to both clinical care quality and patient perceptions of dentists. Conclusions. This study provides baseline data on the DTWM in Tennessee, and can be a reference for similar states that may begin evaluating the model.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mehta M; Erwin PC
  • Start Page

  • 997
  • End Page

  • 1010
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 3