Kansas Looks to Improve In-State Dental Care

A task force in Kansas wants more students to be placed in out-of-state dental schools, effective immediately.

This stems from the fact there is no dental school in the entire state. The Kansas Board of Regents wants to start planning the creation of the first dental college in the state. This committee came to the realization that the current dental workforce crisis in the state was a major problem. The committee was created to develop solutions to this issue.

In 93 of 105 counties in the state, there is a shortage of dentists. To combat the problem, the committee is trying to create more spots for Kansas dental students in schools in Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. These students would receive a tuition subsidy from Kansas and in return would agree to work in underserved areas in Kansas. The groups that would be focused on are people located more than 30 minutes from a dentist, and people with a disability or without dental insurance.

The committee also discussed the logistics behind enabling Kansas to have its first dental school.

Also on the table was the possibility for dental practitioners to perform procedures that dentists would normally perform, but this proposal was voted down.

The estimated cost of starting the dental school is $58 million. It also may take as long as seven years before students graduated from the school as of now.