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Investing in an Inclusive Dental Care Workforce

As DentaQuest looks to the future of dental care, it’s clear that we need more diversity in our field. A diverse dental-care workforce is associated with greater access to quality care for underrepresented communities, more care choice and higher satisfaction, improved outcomes, and better prepared leaders – including policymakers who advocate for the needs of America’s growing diverse population. To that end, DentaQuest has supported and continues to increase opportunities for evidence-based pathways to dental careers.

African American dentist examining child in office

DentaQuest-Funded Academic Research

Sustainable Approaches to Recruit, Retain and Professionalize Black, Latino, and American Indian Students Interested in Dental Careers

​Led by Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH, FICD, Meharry Medical College and Sarah Raskin, PhD, MPH, Virginia Commonwealth University, this DentaQuest-funded research identifies barriers to Black, Latino and American Indian student entry to the dental professions and challenges to success in academic dental education programs. Importantly, the report identifies a number of areas where leaders across the dental care industry can collectively get involved as agents working to build a more diverse and inclusive dental care workforce.

A Best Practice Primary Care Model to Increase Access to Oral Health Care

​The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston used a DentaQuest research grant to explore the concept of teams and collaborative practice to increase the capacity within existing health care systems to address oral health care needs for diverse and vulnerable populations. They developed a best practice model for primary care services that values oral health as essential to overall health, the well-being of patients, and opportunities for preventive interventions.

Opportunities for Diverse Dental Students and High-Need Communities

The Society of American Indian Dentists/DentaQuest Dental Entrance Scholarship Program

The Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) and DentaQuest are partnering to encourage Native students who have a desire to enter the practice of dentistry. The SAID/DentaQuest Dental Entrance Scholarships address the barriers experienced by many prospective Native students. The scholarship covers the cost of academic coaching, admissions tests and transportation to test sites and provides mentoring through the first years of dental school.

Advanced Education and Training Scholarships

​Externships help reduce the financial burden for dental students looking to gain care delivery experience in a variety of community settings. By their example, dental student interns also inspire youth from underrepresented communities to consider careers in dental care. DentaQuest is providing funds to a number of dental education programs to enable these real-life care experiences at community clinics in urban, rural and hard-to-reach settings.

  • Howard University College of Dentistry
  • University of Las Vegas
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
  • University of Washington, Office of Educational Partnerships and Diversity
  • United American Indian Involvement
  • Western University

Community college scholarships for students from diverse backgrounds support those preparing for a career in dental hygiene or dental assisting.

  • Macomb Community College, Michigan
  • Lansing Community College, Michigan
Preventistry Pulse


The newsletter designed for anyone who wants to improve oral health for themselves, their families, customers or communities.