University of New Hampshire
Biomedical Sciences: Medical Microbiology
Mentor: Dr. Rosemary Caron, Department of Health, Management and Policy
Community Dentistry and Dental Public Health Program’s Influence on diminishing the amount of Dental Professional Shortage Areas (DPSAs)
Dental Professional Shortage Areas (DPSAs), are areas with a lack of dental professionals, and are abundant with 5,493 throughout the US. The lack of dental health professionals in rural and urban health settings affects large segments of the population, with over 108 million US citizens lacking dental insurance, and participants on Medicaid unserved. The purpose of this study is directed at understanding how Dental Public Health Programs and Community Dentistry Programs are working to diminish the amount of DPSAs nationwide and make even greater advancements to allow coverage to minorities, such as African American and non-White Hispanic populations, which are generally Medicaid participants. The study will review websites for Dental Public Health and Community Dentistry programs and determine the extent to which their program addresses DPSAs. Program leads will be interviewed to better understand the program’s effect of DPSAs in their area and their plans to address inequalities within DPSA areas. The specific aims of this project include: 1.) Understanding how Dental and Oral health programs are working to diminish the amount of DPSA 2.) Understand how they are encouraging development of community dentistry programs 3) how they are preparing dental providers to effectively work with underserved populations within DPSA.