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Western North Dakota Sets Plan in Motion to Increase the Number of Dental Professionals in the Area

The Dakota College Downtown in Minot, North Dakota, is set to launch dental assisting and dental hygiene programs, transforming former Trinity Health offices into modern classrooms and cutting-edge dental stations. Collaborating with Minot State University and Dakota College at Bottineau, the initiative addresses the scarcity of dental education opportunities in Western North Dakota, where the sole dental school is located in Wahpeton, leading to workforce shortages in the region. Spearheaded by local dentist Mark Hildahl, DDS, the program aims to alleviate the challenge of recruiting trained dental professionals in the area. The facility boasts advanced clinical education spaces and a simulation lab with 12 mannequins for students to practice on before treating patients. The dental assisting program, spanning 10 months, will offer hands-on training alongside classroom instruction, followed by practical experience in local dental offices. Meanwhile, the 2-year dental hygiene program, starting in fall 2025, will equip students with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills through on-the-job training, catering to a maximum of 12 and 20 students, respectively. Applications for both programs are open through Dakota College of Bottineau, promising to bridge the dental workforce gap in Western North Dakota. Click here to read more.

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