Launched in 2007 as a collaborative effort between the Alaska Native Tribal Health Center and the University of Washington, DENTEX was developed to meet the oral health needs of native Alaskan people across 200 remote villages. Students enter a 24-month program as Dental Health Aide Therapists to learn prevention services, fillings, and uncomplicated extractions while working under supervising dentists. Year 1 is classroom instruction in Anchorage. In year 2 the trainees transfer to Bethel Alaska for supervised hands-on clinical experience with local patients. Currently, nearly 40,000 Alaska Native people living in rural Alaska now have improved access to regular dental care by more than two dozen federally certified DHATs.
Kate KohlBased in Emmonak
Employed by Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation
“Prior to DENTEX I worked as a dental assistant for over a year. I traveled to regional villages and learned that I have the endurance to handle stressful positions and stamina to get the job done. I like to believe it’s my family—my roots—that have given me the background and tools that I need to be successful as a Dental Health Aide Therapist.”