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.
Bonnie JohnsonBased in Emmonak, AK
Employed by Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation
“I was raised in a village that did not receive consistent dental care. Dental providers would come and go. Unfortunately, there were villages that did not receive any dental care. Now, I am a Dental Health Aide Therapist who is able to provide much needed dental care to 4 villages on the Yukon Delta. I am able to educate many that had little or no knowledge of the importance of good oral hygiene. The majority of the children were fearful of dental because they usually had experienced the trauma of having teeth extracted in a papoose board. Now that I have been stationed in the Emmonak sub-region for over a year, children anticipate a fun dental visit. I am proud to provide preventive and basic restorative dental care to rural Alaska.”