About Dental Therapists

Vote YES SB 6

The New Mexico Dental Hygienists’ Association (NMDHA) supports the establishment of a Dental Therapist who is educated and licensed to deliver preventive and primary oral health care services to rural, urban and tribal communities.

We believe that a licensed dental hygienist is best suited to be a dental therapist because of our broad- based education and workforce numbers.


NMDHA believes that adding the services of a dental therapist in community-based clinics and public health settings will reduce disparities in the delivery of oral health care services to New Mexico citizens.

Qualified Professionals

A dental therapist will be licensed and a graduate of an accredited educational program. The education will be equivalent to that of a dentist for the proposed limited scope of practice. A dental therapist would partner with a supervising dentist through a practice management agreement.

Job Creation

New Mexico has a ready-made, culturally diverse, educated workforce of licensed dental hygienists who could, with additional education, be ready to serve, utilizing an expanded scope of services where needed. There are approximately 1300 licensed dental hygienists who reside and work in communities throughout the state.


The New Mexico Dental Hygienists’ Association is committed to finding innovative solutions including care delivery models and systems to provide quality oral health care services to the underserved that are safe, affordable and sustainable.

January 2015