WKKF Dental Therapy E-book Partner Toolkit

Join us in lending your voice in support of dental therapy

Dental therapy is a proven community-based solution that ensures all children and families in America have access to oral health care, parents have access to professional wage jobs and communities improve population health. Since 2006, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) has supported Tribal and non-Native communities coming together to highlight the need for dental therapists. In WKKF’s new dental therapy e-book, Wendell Potter offers a fresh look at the under-the-radar oral health crisis in the United States through the prism of an effective approach centering on equity, access and opportunity.

This toolkit is designed to help you share this resource and build support for dental therapy among funders, policymakers, community-based organizations and other partners. It includes how-to tips for sharing, sample social media and email content and links to the e-book.


E-book Resource

  • WKKF’s new e-book, “For Want of a Dentist: The Rise of the Dental Therapy Movement in Tribal Nations and the U.S., Lessons from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation,” can be accessed as a PDF, MOBI (Kindle e-book) and EPUB (Apple e-book) on the book’s landing page.

    Follow WKKF’s social channels, pocketsofhope.wpenginepowered.com and wkkf.org to learn more about WKKF’s investment in dental therapy and book promotion details.

Social Media Guidance

Book Launch and Ongoing Promotion

The book is available Nov. 8, 2021. WKKF has started to promote its launch and will continue with ongoing promotion into the new year.

Use social media to share this new resource on Nov. 8 and into the future. For example, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month — a prime time to promote the importance of dental therapy.

How to Share and Engage

  • Keep it clear, concise and compelling. Use the following sample posts to inspire your own content for the e-book launch and beyond. Copy and paste the content as is or customize it to your organization’s voice and specific areas of interest.
  • Include images. Sharing images and/or short videos on social media increases engagement and shareability. Visuals help illustrate how dental therapy works. See links to WKKF videos, below. Feel free to use in your promotion.
  • Consider timing. Across all social media platforms, the best time to publish is generally Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time, with peak viewing times on Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to noon Eastern time.

Sample Social and E-mail Copy

Social Posts

These posts are adaptable for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and can even inspire content for TikTok.

Please note: Examples below use WKKF’s Twitter handle. Our Instagram handle is @kelloggfoundation and you can tag us on Facebook using @KelloggFoundation or on LinkedIn using @W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

WKKF e-book

New book from @WK_Kellogg_Fdn written by @wendellpotter explores the history of dental therapy, Tribal leadership and community-driven solutions to increase access to oral health. www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


Learn how the growth of dental therapy has increased access to oral health care through the training and deployment of mid-level care providers with @WK_Kellogg _Fdn’s new e-book by @wendellpotter. www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


Testimonials #1

“The @WK_Kellogg_Fdn changed dental advocacy. None of this would have happened without the community and professional network, and the robust learning network brought together by the foundation,” says @CommCatHealth’s Tera Bianchi. www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


“Wendell Potter’s latest work, an examination of the dental therapy movement, is an enthralling look at change in the American health care system,” – Terry Batliner, DDS, MBA. www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


Testimonials #2

“The evidence is clear: Children’s lives are better,” says Alice Warner-Mehlhorn, former @WK_Kellogg_Fdn policy director. Read WKKF’s dental therapy book. www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


“When community members drive how problems are defined, decisions are made and solutions are created, meaningful change becomes possible,” says @HealthFundDavid. www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


Call to Action #1 - Fast Facts

Research tells us that dental therapists are making a significant difference in the oral health of children. Learn more with @WK_Kellogg_Fdn’s new book by @wendellpotter: www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


Dental therapists increase access, expand the team & promote economic development. @WK_Kellogg_Fdn shares its unique history with its new book written by @wendellpotter. www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


Call to Action #2 - Community Leadership

Tribal leadership @ANTHCtoday paved the way for dental therapists to be authorized to practice in 12 states and several Tribal communities across the country. Read about this history in WKKF’s new dental therapy e-book by @wendellpotter. www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


“Alaska Native champions and communities led the way,” – Al Yee. Learn how with @WK_Kellogg_Fdn’s new dental therapy book written by @wendellpotter. www.riseofdentaltherapy.com


Shareable Graphics

Dental Therapy Hashtags

  • Use #GoDentalTherapy to join the conversation on social channels.
  • Consider also using #OralHealth #DentalHealth #RacialEquity or #HealthEquity if space permits.

Account Handles

Every Child Thrives (WKKF’s content platform)

  • Read a Q&A interview with e-book author Wendell Potter on the Every Child Thrives website.
  • Subscribe for e-mail updates.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Wendell Potter

National Partnership for Dental Therapy

Sample E-news Copy

Check out this new e-book, “For Want of a Dentist: The Rise of the Dental Therapy Movement in Tribal Nations and the U.S., Lessons from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation,” written by Wendell Potter. Please join me in sharing it with your networks.

The book details the history of dental therapy, including how Tribal sovereignty advanced dental health across the U.S. It also links the establishment of national standards with accelerated state expansion and reinforces new narratives rooted in racial equity, access and opportunity to ensure the health and well-being of children, families and communities.

Download the e-book here to help bolster momentum for dental therapy movement.

Videos and Testimonials

Shareable Videos

Feel free to use these videos in your posts or create your own: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


To bolster your social posts and engagement, consider leveraging these testimonial quotes from dental therapy champions and voices from the field. Please post with attribution.

“Wendell Potter’s latest work, an examination of the dental therapy movement, is an enthralling look at change in the American health care system. The idea was brought to the U.S. by Alaska Native leaders, gained traction with the help of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and moved forward as Native American leaders exerted sovereignty in the face of well-funded opposition by the American Dental Association. This book is really a story about people who refused to accept the status quo and instead boldly pursued change to improve lives. And the movement continues as states continue to pass dental therapy legislation,” says Terry Batliner, D.D.S., M.B.A., former associate director of Native oral health research at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Public Health.

Twitter account handle: @wendellpotter

“The Kellogg Foundation changed dental advocacy. It was an area that belonged to dentists. By grounding advocates in racial equity, the foundation created a space for local community groups—often marginalized—to become experts in access to oral health care, which changed the conversation in the states. WKKF and Community Catalyst broke down barriers and made sure that I, as a state advocate, went to Tribes first to talk to them before we launched any initiative. None of this would have happened without the community and professional network, and the robust learning network brought together by the foundation. In fact, I came to work [at Community Catalyst] because of what WKKF did for the dental therapy movement,” says Tera Bianchi, dental therapy project director at Community Catalyst.

Twitter account handle: @CommCatHealth

“What began as a local solution to a local problem in rural Alaska Native communities has highlighted that inequities of oral health care access is much broader than experienced by Alaska Native and American Indian people in rural Alaska communities. This important work to expand dental therapy and other work to advance health and racial equity in communities in America is work that is worthy of our time, resources and effort. These inequities cannot and will not change until we take up the plight experienced by our children in our communities. We applaud this important work that is bringing back the smiles of children across America, from the smallest villages to the largest urban cities,” says Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, president at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

Twitter account handle: @ANTHCtoday

“In these pages the history of the effort to effect systems change to ameliorate health inequities is presented. The beneficial support and collaboration with a philanthropic partner focused on social justice and increasing access to care is a key element of the story. The nurturing and maturation of dental therapy practice, starting in Alaska and spreading to many other states, is evidence of the success of this endeavor. This is compelling reading for all who strive to make a difference through positive systems change to achieve equity in oral health for all,” says Caswell A. Evans, D.D.S., M.P.H., emeritus professor, University of Illinois at Chicago and a founding member of the National Coalition of Dentists for Health Equity.

Twitter account handle: @GoDentalTherapy

“The success of the dental therapy movement upholds WKKF’s theory of change: When community members drive how problems are defined, decisions are made and solutions are created, meaningful change becomes possible. Without WKKF’s investment in all of the work – the Alaska program, Tribal and community organizing and campaigns, dentist outreach, dental education engagement and research—none of this would be possible. That’s something worth celebrating,” says David Jordan, former Community Catalyst dental therapy project director.

Twitter account handle: @HealthFundDavid

“Before colonization, Tribal leaders and Tribal communities cared for their people in ways that honored their traditions, built their villages, clans and Tribes, and supported their immediate and extended families. The rise of dental therapy in the U.S. is another demonstration of the continued resilience, resourcefulness, strength and inherent sovereignty of Tribal nations as they reclaim their health programs and overcome colonial trauma, breaking down the structural barriers that reinforce inequities. I am excited for this story to be told and the lessons to be shared with other communities struggling to overcome the exclusion and oppression of structural racism,” says Christina Friedt Peters, Tribal Community Health Provider Project Director at Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.

Twitter account handles: @NWDentalTherapy @NPAIHB

“This is a story that needed to be told. It reveals the resourcefulness of communities to address long-standing health inequities to improve lives. To do so, required a commitment of minds and hearts. It took many voices, courageous leaders and an enduring tenacity to make the necessary changes. Wendell Potter tells not only what was done and the results, but he also—with unflinching honesty—lays bare the “why?” Oral health has traditionally been an estranged relative to primary care. For generations of vulnerable people, particularly children, this has meant not only a lifetime of pain but also of serious medical conditions. The dental therapist, a new oral health team member, comes from the community and serves the community to address this inequity head on. The evidence is clear: Children’s lives are better and now whole communities are enjoying good oral health. I love a story where there is a hero, a just cause and a satisfying ending. The dental therapist story provides all of that and continues to evolve,” says Alice Warner-Mehlhorn, retired director of policy for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Twitter account handle: @WK_Kellogg_Fdn

“As a Tribally-led organization serving all federally recognized Tribes in the area of health, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is thankful for the work the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has done over the years to support health equity and improve health outcomes for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dental therapy will help Tribes meet their oral health needs by providing a safe, culturally competent environment for dental care; by empowering Tribal citizens to become oral health providers; and by breaking down barriers separating Indigenous peoples from the oral health care they need and deserve.

As this enlightening new book highlights, Tribal nations have been leaders in dental therapy for years, from the first Alaska Native communities that brought dental therapy in the U.S. This includes everything from Iḷisaġvik College, a Tribal university that became the first American institution to receive accreditation for its dental therapy program, to the nearly 50 Indigenous people working as dental therapists in their own communities. Current dental therapy advocacy efforts in Indian Country build on these examples or resilience and ingenuity. NIHB stands proudly with Tribes and their allies in the fight for dental therapy as Indigenous peoples reclaim their oral health. We encourage Tribal and non-Tribal people alike to read ‘For Want of a Dentist: The Rise of the Dental Therapy Movement in Tribal Nations and the U.S.,'” says Brett Weber, public health policy and programs manager at the National Indian Health Board.

Twitter account handle: @NIHB1

“Alaska Native champions and communities led the way. The Kellogg Foundation embraced the opportunity to provide support and to later partner with health equity advocates to bring dental therapy to other states. Opposition and self-serving misinformation from organized dentistry was overcome as overwhelmingly positive results fueled advocates’ efforts to achieve win after win. Dental therapy is now steadily spreading across the country. More and more, forward-looking advocates and emboldened communities see dental therapy is making a difference. None of this would be happening without Kellogg Foundation’s visionary leadership and long-term commitment to racial and health equity and raising community voice,” says Albert Yee, M.D., former program director for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Twitter account handle: @WK_Kellogg_Fdn