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First Nations Health Authority Dental Therapists receive continued recognition by the College of Dental Surgeons of BC

​​​The Dental Therapy program currently serves over 3,000 clients in 53 communities across the province.

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The Dental Therapy program increases access to care in First Nations communities, particularly in remote and rural locations.

Dental Therapy services will continue to be offered in First Nations communities across the province thanks to a partnership between the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC) and Ministry of Health. The Dental Therapy program ensures that oral health services are brought closer to home, directly into communities.
 
“We are pleased with the steps our partners are taking to ensure a range of oral health services can continue to be supported in the communities we serve,” says John Mah, VP, Health Benefits. “Through working in collaboration with our partners, we will continue to evolve the FNHA’s oral health program and pave the way for enhancing the range and number of services available in community.”
 
Oral Health is among the priority program areas of service delivery supported by the FNHA. Dental Therapists are important members of the FNHA’s Oral Health program clinical team, who provide professional oral health prevention, education and treatment services in BC First Nations communities. Currently, there are seven FNHA Dental Therapists serving over 3,000 clients in 53 First Nations communities in BC.
 
In preparation for taking on the responsibility for Dental Therapy in 2013, the FNHA worked with its provincial partners to establish a regulatory mechanism for Dental Therapists to continue to practise and serve First Nations in BC. This collaboration resulted in the CDSBC taking on the regulatory oversight for Dental Therapists in BC in 2013—one of the few regulators to take this step in Canada. The CDSBC provides a regulatory framework that recognizes the profession of Dental Therapy and supports quality in service delivery by requiring ongoing continuing education in order to continue practice as a Dental Therapist in BC.
 
Recently the CDSBC Board moved to ensure the bylaw, which allows the CDSBC to continue the regulation of Dental Therapists, would stay in place indefinitely.
 
This is one example of how the FNHA, along with its provincial partners, is paving the way to improve the range of oral health services available to the communities we serve.

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