Advanced Dental Therapy (MSADT)
The Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy program provides baccalaureate educated, licensed dental hygienists with graduate educational opportunities to fulfill the new and exciting professional role as an advanced dental therapist. This nationally groundbreaking program expands the capacity and competency of the dental team to provide preventive and therapeutic oral health care services to underserved populations. By creating a meaningful solution to the problem of dental access for underserved communities, Minnesota is recognized as a national leader in oral health care.
Pew Center on the States reports that by 2014 the demand for oral health care services will increase due to the Affordable Care Act which expands dental insurance to millions of children in the United States. This demand is coupled with Pew's prediction that the new dental team member with dual licensure as a dental hygienist and a dental therapist can boost the productivity and profits of the private dental practice setting. In essence, the employment of dual-licensed mid-level providers makes good business sense while improving the oral and general health of underserved Minnesotans.
The Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy program promotes community-minded health care practices. It prepares the ADT practitioner to provide preventive and therapeutic services as defined by Minnesota Statute Section 2 [150A.05 and 150A.06]. Graduates of this program will be eligible for licensure as a dental therapist and credentialing as an advanced dental therapist in the state of Minnesota after fulfilling the required 2,000 hours of dental therapy practice.
The MSADT program is a full-time, graduate program combining classroom-based, web-enhanced courses with simulation and clinical learning environments to prepare dual licensed advanced dental therapists. This program engages students in interprofessional educational experiences with members of the broader health care team as well as members of the dental care team.
Dental Hygiene Department Mission
The mission of the Metropolitan State University Dental Hygiene Department is to prepare licensed dental hygienists for advanced practice and to enhance the oral health of underserved and diverse populations. Programs are built upon academic excellence and support the value that advanced education is essential to the delivery of quality, safe, accessible, cost-effective oral healthcare. The Dental Hygiene Department is committed to collaborative community involvement, emphasizing ethics and social responsibility.
The program includes advanced dental therapy and interprofessional coursework which focuses upon three primary educational phases for a total of 44 graduate credits:
- The science of health care delivery phase focuses on:
- Working within diverse communities
- Communication across cultures
- Understanding health care needs and the incidence of disease across populations
- Advancing safe, quality oral health care
- This phase has a total of 8 credits
- The clinical practice development phase focuses on:
- Advancing assessment and evaluation skills and knowledge
- Simulation and clinical experiences
- Collaborative care provision skills unique to advanced dental therapy
- This phase has a total of 31 credits
- The leadership and synthesis phase concentrates on:
- Extending health system and public policy knowledge
- Developing leadership skills
- A capstone project focused on the evaluation of a relevant clinical question
- This phase has a total of 5 credits
MSADT Interprofessional Didactic Courses
- NURS 608 Epidemiology
- NURS 605 Health Policy and Leadership
- HSCI 648 Designing for Quality in Health Care
- COMM 533 Theories and Explorations in Community-Based Intercultural Communication
These courses may be taken prior to or during completion of the MSADT competency-based dental courses.
MSADT Competency-Based Dental Courses
- DENH 610 Health Assessment and Oral Diagnostic Reasoning
- DENH 620 Pharmacology Principles of Clinical Application
- DENH 630 Management of Dental Emergencies and Urgent Care
- DENH 640 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare I
- DENH 650 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare II
- DENH 660 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare III
- DENH 670 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare IV
- DENH 680 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare V
- DENH 690 Advanced Specialty Practices
- DENH 700 Advanced Community Specialty Internship
- DENH 710 Comprehensive Competency-Based Clinical Capstone
DENH courses are taught in a sequence using a cohort model beginning in the fall semester. Courses will be taught at Metropolitan State (St. Paul and Maplewood) and Normandale Community College (Bloomington). Clinical courses with community practice components require students to travel to clinical sites throughout the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area for course completion.
Students may enroll in continuing credit as they accrue the required 2,000 hours of practice as a dental therapist to be eligible for certification as an advanced dental therapist after completion of the course of study detailed above.
The MSADT degree builds upon the liberal arts and/or science-oriented baccalaureate degree in dental hygiene. The Dental Hygiene Department evaluates your application for evidence of undergraduate scholarship, professional experience, and your commitment to the mission and role. Class size is limited. Entrance is competitive. The following requirements are necessary to be considered for admission to the MSADT program.
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (calculated from all college coursework);
- Current dental hygiene licensure in good standing (must meet Minnesota requirements, including nitrous oxide and local anesthesia certifications);
- Prerequisite course, DENH 420 Restorative Functions Theory and Lab, must be completed or a plan for the completion submitted with the program application. Documentation of successful completion of the prerequisite course or its equivalent must be provided to enroll in dental program courses.
Completion of the prerequisite course does not guarantee entrance into the program. The program will have limited enrollment and Metropolitan State University reserves the right to determine admissions status.
Applications are reviewed throughout the year. Eligible applicants will be invited for an interview and professional portfolio review as a final step in the application process. See Applying to the Program for portfolio details.
Additional Program Requirements
Before MSADT students begin clinical dental courses, the following must be provided:
- Appropriate documentation of an active Minnesota dental hygiene license;
- Evidence of current professional liability insurance;
- Evidence of required immunizations;
- Evidence of current CPR certification;
- Evidence of HIPAA training,
- Evidence of minimum number of hours of clinical dental hygiene practice;
- Evidence of successful background study, and
- Evidence of current health insurance
Once you have been fully admitted to the program, you will be required to attend a graduate program orientation session and develop a plan of study.
To be considered for admission you must submit:
- Graduate Application
- Non-refundable application fee (waived for graduates of Metropolitan State University)
- Official transcripts from all universities attended
- Plan for completion of prerequisite course requirement, if in process
- Evidence of a current unencumbered Minnesota Dental Hygienist license
- Goal essay
- Two references
- Computer proficiency form
See Applying to the Program for application packets and details on the requirements and deadlines.
You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain in a College of Health, Community and Professional Studies graduate program. To remain in good standing, you must maintain a term and cumulative GPA of 3.0.
You will be admitted as part of a cohort for the MSADT competency-based dental courses and must adhere to the program progression published at the time of your admission. If you are unable to progress with the assigned cohort, you may make a written request to join a subsequent cohort, provided you have made satisfactory academic progress to date and space is available. Permission to join a subsequent cohort is determined by the Dental Hygiene Programs Director.
Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
Resident and community faculty members bring multiple specialties and areas of interest to their instruction. Many faculty members maintain an active dental practice. Community and resident faculty instructing core clinical courses are licensed dentists.