The purpose of this research study was to identify the strengths and limitations of the current Minnesota collaborative agreement (Statute 150A.10 subd. 1a “Limited Authorization for Dental Hygienists”) in addressing the oral health needs of unserved and underserved Minnesotans. Through the identification of needs and gaps in the collaborative agreement infrastructure, this research can inform and provide suggested guidelines for quality measures and policy recommendations. Data for this qualitative research study was collected by interviewing eight Collaborative Practice Dental Hygienists and nine Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice Advisory Committee Members. An in-depth interview guide, containing 17 interview questions, was utilized for both groups of participants to identify strengths, limitations, and possible changes that need to be made to the collaborative agreement statute and /or direct access infrastructure in Minnesota. The research found that there are many benefits to practicing with a collaborative agreement, such as providing opportunities for underserved populations and the dental hygiene profession. However, many barriers were identified that impede the potential opportunities, namely lack of awareness and education regarding collaborative practice among the dental profession, difficulty finding dentists to sign a collaborative agreement, and few referral sources. Many potential changes to the statute and collaborative agreement infrastructure were identified and presented as a means to improve the oral health of unserved and underserved Minnesotans.


Judith Luebke

First Committee Member

Amy Hedman

Second Committee Member

Angela Monson

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Health Science


Allied Health and Nursing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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