A recent study in JAMA Health Forum evaluated the affect of expanding the dental workforce in the U.S. to provide care in underserved areas. The research, which explored using the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to expand dental care, was prompted by the fact that tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease among children in the country. “On average, children miss 34 million school hours annually due to emergency dental care,” reports Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
The study found that using the NHSC to increase dental work in underserved areas would reduce the number of dental caries found in children and would “address disparities in the social and economic determinants of oral health,” said author Dr. Sung Choi, instructor in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
The NHSC is a program that provides scholarships and loans to medical and dental students dedicated to serving Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA’s) upon completion of their training.
Learn more about this story from Harvard School of Dental Medicine.