Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Dental Hygiene








Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to determine perceptions of Virginia (VA) dentists toward mid-level dental providers, specifically dental therapists (DT), and determine whether membership in the American Dental Association (ADA) membership affected attitudes.

Methods: A convenience sample of 1208 dentists in the state of VA were invited to participate in an electronic survey. The instrument consisted of 11 Likert type scale questions assessing attitudes toward DTs. Additional items included the appropriate level of education and supervision of a DT, and five demographic questions. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. A one-sample t-test was used to determine statistical significance for the Likert scale items.

Results:An overall response rate of 12% was obtained (n=145). Most respondents were male (73%), members of the ADA (84%), and over the age of 40 (65%). Results suggest that most participants did not perceive (M=1.90, p

Conclusions: Virginia dentists surveyed did not perceive a need for DTs and generally reported unfavorable attitudes towards this mid-level provider. Findings support the need for more research with a larger, more diverse sample population.


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Original Publication Citation

Howell, A. L., Lynn Tolle, S., Ludwig, E. A., & Claiborne, D. M. (2021). Attitudes of Virginia dentists toward dental therapists: A pilot study. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 95(6), 13-22.


0000-0001-6324-9856 (Claiborne)