Objectives The poor oral health of Saskatchewan’s children, in concert with a significant shortage of dentists, prompted the province in the early 1970s to seek an alternative method of addressing the oral health care needs of children. The result was the Saskatchewan Health Dental Plan (SHDP), which trained and employed dental therapists in school-based clinics to provide basic dental care to all children. The program was initiated over the opposition of Saskatchewan’s dentists. The purpose of this research was to provide information and data previously not documented in the refereed dental literature regarding the only school-based program staffed by dental therapists to ever exist in North America. Methods This case study reviews the program’s planning, opposition, implementation, and achievements based on a comprehensive review of published articles as well as a search of the grey literature. Additionally, Saskatchewan Health provided annual reports for each year of the program’s existence. Results During its thirteen years of existence, the school-based program proved popular with parents and achieved significant success in providing necessary dental care for children. It was terminated in 1987 by the newly elected provincial Conservative government, which was not supportive of such social programs. Conclusions The SHDP serves as a successful model of school-based dental care for children. However, the termination of the plan demonstrates the vulnerability of publicly funded dental health programs to conflicting political ideologies and special interest groups.