First year students take up residence in Anchorage to begin their studies as Dental Health Aide Therapists. Training includes one year of classroom instruction in oral health principles and practices. Students become immersed in the didactic material, but also see real patients, both children and adults, providing diagnostic and preventive services. In addition, they perform fillings on the teeth of mannequins that serve as patients in the laboratory.
Eliza EphankaBethel, AK
“I’ve lived in Bethel all my life. All my younger children received services at the Dental Health Aide program. Before this clinic we never received any dental services. It was so hard to get an appointment with a dentist. We’d call every Monday. Sometimes they’d tell us to call next week. My first dental experience was scary. I was 6 or 7 years, going to the dentist for a toothache. After that I suffered with toothaches before going back to see the dentist. It’s easier for me to communicate with the Dental Health Aides here as they are local.”