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CODA seeks comments on revised proposed dental therapy standards

May 05, 2014

By Kimber Solana

The Commission on Dental Accreditation is seeking written comments through Dec. 1 on an updated version of the proposed accreditation standards for dental therapy education programs.

ADA members and other stakeholders will have opportunities to comment in writing or at one of several open hearings planned this year, including ADA 2014—America's Dental Meeting in San Antonio.

"Given the national interest in the draft standards, the commission believed that following the submission of numerous comments during 2013, resulting in revisions to the proposed accreditation standards, it was appropriate to recirculate the revised draft standards for an additional period of public comment," said Dr. John N. Williams, CODA chair.

The accreditation standards have been under development since 2012, following appointment of the Task Force on Development of Accreditation Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs. CODA, which serves the oral health care needs of the public through the development and administration of standards that foster continuous quality improvement of dental and dental-related educational programs, directed the task force to draft standards in 2012 in response to a request from the University of Minnesota. In Minnesota, the state dental board is currently accrediting the dental therapy education programs.

The proposed standards include revisions and further changes based on comments received from February 2013 to December 2013. To receive a copy, contact CODA at 1-312-440-4653 or email Madelaine Schmitt at

After receiving over 1,500 pages of comments, CODA revised the proposed dental therapy accreditation standards and directed at its winter 2014 meeting, held Jan. 29-30, recirculation of the proposed standards for further review and comments. The commission will again review the most recently revised document and comments at its winter 2015 meeting.

In addition to ADA 2014, stakeholder groups will have several opportunities to comment on the latest version of the proposed standards for dental therapy education. CODA is holding open hearings at the American Dental Assistants Association annual meeting (Oct. 9-14 in San Antonio) and the American Dental Hygienists' Association annual meeting (June 18-24 in Las Vegas).

Written comments may be submitted through Dec. 1 via email to CODA director Sherin Tooks, Ed.D., at or by U.S. mail to Director, Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago IL 60611.