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Maine Access Care through Proposed Dental School

Maine Access Care through Proposed Dental School

Maine, one of the underprivileged rural areas having shortage of licensed dentists will now have access to dental care. A dental school is being proposed to be built there thereby increasing the number of dentists. This article informs the issue.

A new dental school is being proposed to be set up by University of New England (UNE) in its campus at Portland. If this dental school is built then it may enhance the access to quality dental care all around the state. A sum of about 20 million dollars will be required to put the plan into action and in its operation. The proposers of the dental school are expecting that a share of the sum will be included to the agreement package of Governor John Baldacci, which is presently passing the legislative inspection.

Danielle Ripich, the UNE President has remarked that the proposal has been formulated on the basis of a pioneering dental school based in Arizona. It is being expected that once the dental school building process is finished, it will start appointing more number of qualified dentists to the underprivileged countryside areas of Maine, thus enhancing access to dental care. Moreover, a concession in the course fees will be offered to the students, who have their origin at Maine. The first student's batch of the dental school will commence from 2011.

Presently, a majority of the dental schools set up public clinics within their campus premises, where the students get to practice dentistry on patients. The proposed dental school at UNE will put the 3rd and 4th year dental students in the public sponsored community dental clinics statewide to practice, for a period of 6 months. Expert dentists having valid licenses will supervise the trainee dental students, to offer fundamental dental care services in the public clinics, where more number of patients can be attended.

There are nineteen community health clinics at Maine that accepts patients, who are under the coverage of Medicaid, Medicare and private health plans. Apart from that, patients devoid of any insurance coverage can avail care on payment. Dental care services are offered by 13 clinics among these, in addition to mental care and other medical services.

The prime objective of the proposed dental school is not only to offer more care by appointing trained dental science students, but also to bring in more number of licensed dentists, so as to bridge gap created by the shortage of physicians in the remote areas of Maine.

Maine's Delta Dental Plan has vowed to offer 2 million dollars in order to fund the proposed dental school at UNE. Not only have this but several other health organizations promised to sponsor for the same cause.

Planners of the dental school are mainly relying on the 306 million dollars package of Governor John Baldacci, which is being expected to meet the initial investment of 20 million dollars for building and developing the dental school at UNE and managing its operation.


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