Understanding the Impact of Dental Residents and Student Dental Externs on Oral Health Service Delivery Capacity in the Safety Net

Demand for dental residency and dental student externship opportunities has grown in recent years driven by the economy for dental employment and the desire of students for increased market competitiveness. In addition to specialty residencies, some states now also require that general dentists complete a year of advanced education in general dentistry before licensure. The Teaching Health Center program, a feature of the ACA, has contributed to increased capacity in dental residency programs, has impacted new dentist preparedness for practice, has increased opportunities for recruitment and retention of dentists in community clinics, and has increased access to oral health services for safety net populations. We will examine trends in demand for advanced training by students and how this aligns with current policy supporting this training and practice. We will also consider the impact of residencies in ambulatory care settings, particularly for FQHCs, on service capacity and access for patients.

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