Dental therapists don’t receive as much training as a dentist. But they can perform some of the same basic services — such as pulling teeth and filling cavities — under the supervision of a dentist.
In Minnesota and Alaska, the two states that have practicing dental therapists so far, some of the therapists are able to take their work on the road, traveling to rural areas to treat those who have little or no access to dentists — or who have limited dental coverage. The dental therapists charge less than dentists and are able to take all types of insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare.
More on the limited access to dental health care in Politico.