About the Program

What is it?

The Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy (ADT MS) program offered by Minnesota State University, Mankato is an accelerated master’s program which educates and prepares licensed dental hygienists for roles working as intraprofessional dental practitioners, or dental therapists. The program’s goals include enhancing oral healthcare and improving access to dental care for underserved communities by educating and training highly competent dental professionals. These intraprofessional practitioners will be able to provide dental care working to their maximum potential under the scopes of practice in both dental hygiene and dental therapy.

Advanced dental therapists (ADTs) are licensed intraprofessional dental practitioners who work as a critical part of the dental team.  ADTs are trained in theoretic and applied skills to provide treatments such as fillings and removal of baby teeth.  ADTs play an important role in preventing emergency room visits for dental-related problems.

ADTs provide dental care working to their maximum potential under the scopes of practice in both dental hygiene and dental therapy. They are educated to the same standard of care as a dentist for their defined scope of practice. Dental therapists and ADTs provide care under the supervision of a licensed dentist through a collaborative management agreement.

Who is it for?

The ADT MS program is for Minnesota licensed dental hygienists who have a baccalaureate degree that are looking to advance their scope of training in dentistry. Additionally, the applicant must have completed a Restorative Functions didactic and laboratory course and have nitrous oxide and local anesthesia certifications. The ideal applicant has a strong desire to work with diverse and underserved populations, focusing on enhancing oral healthcare for all.

Where is it offered?

The ADT MS program is offered at the Mankato main campus. Rotations with external clinics may be conducted in and around the Mankato and surrounding area as well as locations in the Twin Cities. Students are expected to travel to assigned external clinical rotations.

When is it offered?

The ADT MS program is part time program (one can still work as a hygienist at least 2 days a week) and students are expected to attend all courses, laboratory instruction, clinical instruction, and rotations with external partnering clinics. The cohort of students will begin the program in the summer and complete it in 6 semesters. Courses and clinical instructional activities run through the summer. All instructional activities occur Tuesday through Friday. No instructional activities will occur on Mondays or weekends.

ADT MS students will be admitted as part of a cohort and must follow the program sequence as published at the time of admission. All ADT MS students must maintain satisfactory academic progress including maintaining both a term and cumulative GPA of 3.0.

What Is the Approximate Program Cost?

Tuition and fees are approved annually by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.

Current ADT Tuition Rates

Additionally, the ADT MS student will be responsible for expenses including health insurance, costs of additional immunizations/vaccinations, costs of magnifying loupes with lights, Board examination and licensing fees, dental hygiene professional liability insurance and other fees as required.

What is the licensing process for a dental therapist and advanced dental therapist?

Upon successful completion of the ADT MS program at Minnesota State University, Mankato and passing clinical licensure examinations specified by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, the ADT MS student will be eligible for licensure as a dental therapist and credentialing as an advanced dental therapist in the state of MN.

The licensure process for dental therapy candidates in Minnesota requires:

  • Successful completion of a dental therapy educational program approved by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry or accredited by CODA or another board-approved national accreditation organization
  • Successful completion of the patient-based and manikin-based Dental Therapy
    Licensure Examination administered by Central Regional Dental Services
  • Successful completion of the Minnesota Dental Jurisprudence Examination
  • Submission of a signed Dental Therapy Collaborative Management Agreement

The certification process for advanced dental therapy requires:

  • Successful completion of a master's degree level advanced dental therapy
    educational program (incorporates dental therapy curriculum)
  • Completion and documentation of 2,000 hours of dental therapy scope practice
  • Successful completion of a case-based examination administered by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry
  • Submission of redacted complete written and radiographic records for dental
    therapy services as specified by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry which demonstrate the candidate's ability to appropriately apply sound critical thinking and clinical judgments
  • Personal interview with the Minnesota Board of Dentistry's Licensure and
    Credentialing committee, which focuses upon the findings of the credentialing
    examination process

Program learning outcomes

Upon completion of the dental therapy program, graduates will be able to:

  • Self-assess professional competency, values, and ability for self-directed life-long learning.
  • Apply critical thinking and problem solving related to the scope of dental therapy, including their use in the care of patients and knowledge of when to consult a dentist or other members of the healthcare team.
  • Apply appropriate interpersonal and communication skills to manage a diverse patient population and function successfully in a multicultural work environment.
  • Create a patient care plan in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team.
  • Apply and value the principles of ethical decision making and professional responsibility.
  • Interpret and apply legal and regulatory concepts to the provision and/or support of oral healthcare services.
  • Design evidence-based patient care plan within the scope of dental therapy practice.
  • Provide oral healthcare within the scope of dental therapy to patients in all stages of life.
  • Perform dental therapist practice within the scope specified by the MN Board of Dentistry.
  • Compare and contrast behaviors and beliefs of diverse cultures as it relates to oral healthcare and modify patient care plans as needed.
  • Create a capstone project that will have a significant impact on oral health promotion emphasizing health equity and integrated healthcare.

Program accreditation

The Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato is approved by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry.

Minnesota Board of Dentistry
2829 University Avenue, SE
Suite 450
Minneapolis, Minnesota