Number of Native People Applying to Dental School Drops Precipitously
Native American populations have long endured poor oral health outcomes due to lack of dental care. In some areas of the nation, including Alaska and Washington, the introduction of dental therapists has helped improve access to care. However, the number of Native Americans applying to dental school to become dentists has significantly dropped. According to the American Dental Education Association, 92 Native American students applied to dental schools in 2006. Only 21 Native students applied in 2021. Some dental schools are working to address such disparities, such as the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, which offers the Native American Pre-Dental Student Gateway Program to encourage Native American students to consider dentistry as a career. Click here to read more.