Program Overview

The Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy (MSADT) program is the first of its kind in the country with Minnesota recognized as a national leader in oral health care. The dual licensed graduates of Metropolitan State University's Advanced Dental Therapy program have created a meaningful solution to the problem of dental access for underserved communities by providing care in both the dental hygiene and dental therapy scopes of practice for diverse populations.

All Dental Hygiene Department educational programs are based on academic excellence, and the values of community involvement, ethical conduct, and social responsibility. The MSADT program provides the theoretical and applied skills necessary for licensure as a dental therapist and certification as and an advanced dental therapist as defined by Minnesota statute. This graduate program requires a full-time commitment for four semesters and prepares baccalaureate educated, licensed dental hygienists for advanced practice to enhance the oral and general health of underserved communities.

Pew Center on the States reports the demand for oral health care services is increasing 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 private dental practice setting. In essence, the employment of dual-licensed providers makes good business sense while improving the oral and general health of underserved Minnesotans.

The MSADT program is a full-time, graduate program combining classroom-based, web-enhanced courses with simulation and clinical learning environments. 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.

Curriculum

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

More information about this program

Admission Criteria

The MSADT degree builds upon a liberal arts and/or science-oriented baccalaureate degree and Minnesota dental hygiene licensure. The Dental Hygiene Department evaluates applications for evidence of undergraduate scholarship, professional experience, and commitment to the Dental Hygiene Department's and the advanced professional. 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.

The application cycle runs from mid November to early March. Eligible applicants will be invited for either an in-person or online interview as a final step in the application process. See Applying to the Program for 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 dental hygiene professional liability insurance;
  • Evidence of required immunizations;
  • Evidence of current CPR certification;
  • Evidence of HIPAA training;
  • Evidence of minimum of 1000 hours of clinical dental hygiene experience or requirement of additional courses and dental hygiene practice while in the program;
  • Evidence of successful background study, and
  • Evidence of current health insurance
Program Orientation

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.
Application Requirements

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.

Additional Information

Academic Standing

You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. 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.

Accreditation

Metropolitan State University is ccredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
312-263-0456

Metropolitan State University's Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy Program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry.Minnesota Board of Dentistry.

Minnesota Board of Dentistry
2829 University Avenue, SE
Suite 450
Minneapolis, Minnesota
55414-3246
612-617-2250

Faculty

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 providing clinical instruction are licensed dentists.

Additional Program Information 


How Admissions Works

We are looking forward to you joining us. Take the first step by filling out this application.
Course List

Prerequisites

  • DENH 420 Restorative Functions Theory and Lab
    3 credits

    This course focuses on the principles, handling characteristics, placement, contouring, and adjusting of the direct restorative materials in a laboratory setting in accordance with MN Statute, section 150A.10, subdivision 4. To become certified in restorative functions by the MN Board of Dentistry, DENH 440, Restorative Functions Clinic, must also be completed. DENH 440 is offered the semester following DENH 420.

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Requirements ( 44 total credits)

MSADT Competency-based Dental Courses

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.

  • DENH 610 Health Assessment and Oral Diagnostic Reasoning
    4 credits

    This didactic and clinical course focuses on the significance of systemic and oral diseases and their connection to dental patients. Advanced dental therapy skills in patient examination, assessment, evaluation, and problem-oriented treatment planning in the context of collaborative management agreement authorization as well as dental consultations and referrals will be emphasized. This course develops a comprehensive, patient-centered, problem-solving approach to clinical assessment and treatment planning stressing the development of critical thinking and clinical judgment. Socio-cultural, familial, environmental, and developmental influences across the lifespan will be considered. In addition, emphasis is on health promotion, disease prevention, and the management of common oral health problems.

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  • DENH 620 Pharmacology Principles of Clinical Application
    2 credits

    This blended/hybrid course is designed to prepare the Masters of Science Advanced Dental Therapy (MSADT) student with the pharmacology knowledge and skill necessary to think critically when providing patient-centered care. Effective care begins with sorting through the patient's medical/dental health status and pharmacological report. Based on a comprehensive analysis, the student will discern appropriate treatment modifications and necessary drug prescriptions/interventions to ensure optimal and safe patient care. Drug classes, pharmacologic effects, adverse reactions, drug contraindications and interactions will be addressed practically and reinforced through case-based learning.

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  • DENH 630 Management of Dental and Medical Emergencies
    1 credits

    This didactic and simulation laboratory based course reviews common medical and dental emergencies that may be seen in the dental setting, as well as, management protocols and prevention strategies for emergencies. This course illustrates the relationship between accurate data collection and achieving successful outcomes in the management of dental and medical emergencies. Emphasis is placed on gathering, analyzing and processing information to develop appropriate action plans. Simulation laboratory experiences of medical emergencies take place in a dental operatory.

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  • DENH 640 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare I
    5 credits

    This lecture and simulation laboratory based course is the first in a series of courses taught throughout the curriculum that provides learning opportunities leading to competency in advanced dental therapy practice. In a simulation laboratory setting the course emphasizes operative dentistry techniques that restore form, function, and esthetics to teeth with the purpose of contributing to both oral and general health. The basic principles of cavity and restoration design, and appropriate selection and application of direct restorative materials are emphasized. Focus is on theoretical and laboratory principles of operative dentistry utilizing direct placement restorative materials in the permanent dentition.

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  • DENH 650 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare II
    4 credits

    This lecture and laboratory based course builds upon the concepts and skills the oral health care practitioner student learned in Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare I. The course emphases are complex amalgam tooth preparations and restorations; pre-formed crown preparations and restorations; provisional restorations; preventive mouthguards; and pediatric restorative dentistry, atraumatic restorative dentistry, and pulpotomies in a simulation laboratory setting. Concepts and strategies include behavior management; treatment planning; prevention; restorative care; and space maintenance for pediatric and adolescent patients. Within the context of advance dental therapy practice indications for professional referral to provide comprehensive patient care are also a course focus.

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  • DENH 660 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare III
    0 credits

    This course consists of lecture, laboratory, and clinical components. The course addresses the basic principles of uncomplicated primary and permanent tooth exodontia, in accordance with MN Statute 150A.106, as well as dressing changes, and suture removal techniques. Indications and fabrication of soft occlusal guards, repair of defective removable prosthetics, tissue conditioning, and soft relines of removable prosthetics are also addressed. The clinical component of this course provides the oral health care practitioner student their initial advanced dental therapy clinical experiences under professional supervision by dentists. Introduction to the clinical employment of teledentistry, professional referrals/consultations, and collaborative management agreements to ensure comprehensive patient care is also emphasized.

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  • DENH 670 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare IV
    4 credits

    This seminar and clinically based course provides the oral health care practitioner student with the opportunity to develop and refine their skills in providing primary and preventive oral health care to underserved patients across the lifespan within the context of advanced dental therapy scope of practice. Some of the skills this course focuses upon are the clinical development of assessment and patient-centered treatment planning skills, appropriate prescribing practices, pain management skills, restorative and preventive procedures, and non-surgical extractions as outlined in MN Statute 150A.106. The continuation of the development of teledentistry skills, professional referrals and consultations, and practicing within collaborative management agreements are also emphasized to manage comprehensive patient care.

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  • DENH 680 Community-Based Primary Oral Healthcare V
    3 credits

    This seminar and clinically based course provides the oral health care practitioner student with opportunities to further develop and refine skills in providing primary oral health care and preventive services to underserved patients across the lifespan. Additional development and refinement of advanced dental therapy skills in responsible, ethical, and primary oral health care and preventive services is the course focus. In the advanced dental therapy clinical setting self assessment is emphasized as well as the further refinement of teledentistry skills, professional referrals/consultations, and collaborative management authorization to provide comprehensive patient care.

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  • DENH 685 Oral Health Literacy and Cultural Competency in Advanced Dental Therapy
    1 credits

    Advanced dental therapists work in clinical settings which provide preventive and therapeutic oral health care services for populations that have experienced long standing barriers accessing these services. This online course will address oral health literacy and cultural competency within the context of providing advanced dental therapy scope of practice for individuals, families, and communities representing diverse backgrounds. Competence Statement Knows the principles and practices of oral health literacy, cultural and linguistic appropriate services well enough to implement strategies into advanced dental therapy practice to increasingly overcome oral healthcare access barriers for those with diverse backgrounds.

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  • DENH 690 Advanced Dental Specialty Practices
    0 credits

    This practicum and seminar based course provides the oral healthcare practitioner student with practical advanced dental therapy experiences in delivering primary and preventive oral healthcare services to special needs patients in extended campus clinical settings while under the guidance of a dentist preceptor. Patient groups encountered may include: pediatrics, geriatrics, medically compromised, patients with genetic and/or acquired disabilities and financially or motivationally impaired patients.

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  • DENH 700 Advanced Community Specialty Internship
    3 credits

    This practicum and seminar based course offers in-depth advanced dental therapy experiences providing primary and preventive oral health care services to a special needs patient population of the oral health care practitioner student's choosing. Emphasis will be placed on providing primary and preventive oral health care dental services under the guidance of a dentist preceptor to one of the following underserved populations: pediatric; geriatric; medically; mentally; or psychologically compromised patients; financially and/or motivationally impaired patients. Competent, professional dental treatment requiring considerations outside of routine patient methodology and comprehensive management of patient-centered dental problems within the context of advanced dental therapy practice is the course focus.

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  • DENH 710 Comprehensive Competency-Based Capstone
    0 credits

    This course is the culmination and synthesis of the educational experiences of the oral health care practitioner student. Integration and application of independent critical thinking, problem solving skills, professional attitudes, sound clinical judgment, and primary and preventive oral health care skills are essential to advanced dental therapy practice success and will be demonstrated through laboratory (simulation) and clinical practical experiences. A final scholarly paper will focus on a topic relevant to advanced dental therapy practice demonstrating the writing and communication skills necessary for the MSOHCP degree.

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MSADT Interprofessional Didactic Courses

These courses may be taken prior to or during completion of the MSADT competency-based dental courses.

  • NURS 608 Epidemiology
    2 credits

    This course focuses on the principles of epidemiology as a basis for advanced nursing practice with populations at risk. Students gain an understanding of epidemiology as the science of public health and community health nursing by examining the range of health problems and diseases affecting diverse cultures, races and ethnic groups. Upon completion of the course, students can apply the fundamentals of epidemiology to the structuring of health promotion interventions for high-risk groups.

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  • NURS 605 Health Policy and Leadership
    3 credits

    This course examines the social, cultural, economic, and political variables that influence the development of health policy and the strategies that can be used to develop or revise health policy. Students study the present U.S health system to determine ways in which it may be modified to enhance population health and better meet the needs of underserved populations. Competence Statement: Knows principles and concepts related to leadership and health policy well enough to demonstrate leadership in improving the delivery of health care to diverse populations

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  • HSCI 648 Designing for Quality in Health Care
    3 credits

    This course focuses on clinical and operational excellence and continuous improvement of quality and safety from the leadership perspective. Process improvement philosophies, approaches, models, and methods are reviewed and applied to health care delivery. Critical communication, collaboration, and leadership skills are incorporated and evaluated throughout the course. Competence Statement: Knows the theories, principles and methods of continuous quality improvement, work flow design, and human factors well enough to develop a quality improvement proposal.

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