In order to solve Kansas’ dire dentist shortage, the Kansas Dental Association (KDA) has suggested that the perfect solution would be to form the state’s very first school of dentistry.
The perfect site for the dentistry school, according to the KDA, is the University of Kansas Medical Center, located in Kansas City.
The idea has been presented to the Kansas board of regents, but they have yet to decide on the matter. The University of Kansas has not yet signed off on the idea, either.
"We're underserved, and a significant amount of our workforce is going to be retiring in the next several years -- and we don't have people in the pipeline to backfill that," Dr. Doug Girod, executive vice chancellor of the medical school, said.
A report in 2011 stated that approximately 57,000 Kansas citizens lived in what was referred to as “dental care service deserts.” In these “deserts,” there were no practicing dentists in the span of 30 miles from their homes. The report stated that this was more common in rural areas, but that dental care can be difficult to access for children, senior citizens and low-income families in urban areas.