New dental school to open in Western Texas to address shortage
El Paso, Texas — In an effort to address a shortage of dentists in the region, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso announced Sept. 6 that it will open the state’s fourth dental school, estimated to open in 2020.
According to ADA News, the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine will be the first dental school to open in the state in nearly 50 years and the first to be located in West Texas and on the U.S.-Mexico border. The school is expected to admit about 25 students in its first year.
“Our region is severely underserved when it comes to dentistry, and by establishing a school here in the heart of the [region], we expect to retain dentists in our area to help fill this gap,” said university President Richard Lange, M.D.
El Paso County has been classified as a dental Health Professional Shortage Area by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to a news release. The county currently has about one dentist for every 5,000 residents, compared to the state average of one for ever 2,760, according to a Texas Department of State Health Services study.
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