A new Kirksville dental school is seeking to ease a shortage of dentists in Missouri.
The Columbia Missourian reports that the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health opened Tuesday at A.T. Still University. The only other dental school in the state is at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The new dental school's initial class of 42 includes only nine Missouri residents. But the school hopes that its health center placement program will persuade many of them to remain in state.
Listen to this week's Health and Wealth Update to learn about Missouri's first oral health caucus and why it's pushing for the state to have a dental director.
The Missouri General Assembly now has an oral health caucus. Co-chaired by Reps. Donna Lichtenegger (R-Jackson) and Jeanne Kirkton (D-Webster Groves), the caucus held its first meeting Monday, Feb. 11. A big item on the caucus' agenda? Reinstating the position of dental director in the state's health department.
The Pew Charitable Trust’s Center on the States recently released a report or oral health that didn’t speak too highly of Missouri. On an A through F scale, it gave the state a D for its efforts to provide access to dental sealants for high-need kids. Dental sealants are plastic coatings put on children’s molars after they first come in that help prevent decay.