Advanced Dental Therapy MSADT

College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Graduate degree

Program accreditation

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

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

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 an advanced dental therapist as defined by Minnesota statute. This graduate program requires a full-time commitment for five 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 settings. 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.

Program mission

The mission of the Metropolitan State Advanced Dental Therapy program is to prepare licensed dental hygienists for advanced practice and to enhance the oral health of underserved and diverse populations. The program is built upon academic excellence and supports the value that advanced education is essential to the delivery of quality, safe, accessible, cost-effective oral healthcare. The program is committed to collaborative community involvement, emphasizing ethics and social responsibility.


The program includes advanced dental therapy and interprofessional coursework which focuses upon three primary educational phases for a total of 42 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
  • 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
  • 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

Student outcomes

  • Demonstrate
    • critical thinking in dental therapy and advanced dental therapy
    • competence in dental therapy and advanced dental therapy practice
    • leadership in improving the delivery of health care
  • Apply principles of ethical decision making and cultural competence in dental therapy and advanced dental therapy practice
  • Work in partnership with a collaborative management agreement dentist and other health care professionals
  • Use a process of scholarly inquiry in dental therapy and advanced dental therapy practice



About Advanced Dental Therapy

Due to a lack of accessible dental care, in 2008 the Minnesota Legislature authorized licensure of the Advanced Dental Therapist. To prepare individuals for this role, Metropolitan State University developed the Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy and opened the clinic in January 2012.Upon graduation, Advanced Dental Therapists agree to work for the following patient populations:

  • Underserved patients
  • Low income patients
  • Uninsured patients
  • Patients residing in dental health professional shortage areas

Goals of the ADT Program:

  1. Educate advanced dental therapy students to increase the dental team’s workforce in Minnesota.
  2. Provide underserved populations access to oral health services.
  3. Serve the oral health needs of underserved communities with scholarship, professionalism, ethics, and competence.
  4. Promote the well-being of underserved communities by collaborating with other health professionals.
  5. Provide students with educational experiences establishing a commitment to social responsibility, advancing the profession of dental hygiene, and continuous professional development.

Mission Statement

To educate advanced dental therapists to improve the oral health of underserved populations by providing high quality, patient-centered care. The educational program is built upon scholarly principles and practices as well as academic excellence and service. The Advanced Dental Therapy program is committed to improving the general well-being of underserved community members.