A comparison of dental therapy and dental students’ clinical performance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to determine if there is a difference between dental therapy students’ clinical performance as compared to dental students at the University of Minnesota. An ex post facto research design was used to compare dental therapy students’ and dental students’ performance on selected clinical procedures. Dental students and dental therapy students from the graduating classes of 2016, 2017, and 2019 at the University of Minnesota comprised the study sample. Fisher's exact test was used to compare pass rates, and Wilcox rank sum test was used to compare performance scores. Dental therapy students’ clinical performance on competency examinations and scores on daily clinical procedures showed no statistically significant difference when compared to dental student performance. There was no overall statistical difference in clinical performance between the three student cohorts. Dental therapy students performed equally as well as the dental students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-598
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Scott Lunos is partially supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant UL1TR002494.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Dental Education Association


  • clinical performance
  • dental therapist
  • technical competence

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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