Dental Outreach Program Extended for Rural Alaska

On Monday's (5/14) hearing the Alaska Board of Dental Examiners decided to keep the program intact. Dentists who work with the program say it's a great situation because students get to learn while helping people for a low cost.

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by Megan Mazurek

A dental outreach program that serves more than 700 Alaskans was almost cancelled. Rural area dentists say that finances were an issue with the volunteer program. Even though the program is voluntary, with mostly college students and a few professors they were charging for services.
The money runs through the council of Athabascan Tribal Governments which goes to things like transportation, shipping supplies and basic travel equipment like sleeping bags. On Monday's (5/14) hearing the Alaska Board of Dental Examiners decided to keep the program intact. Dentists who work with the program say it's a great situation because students get to learn while helping people for a low cost.
"In that sense it's a win win situation," said Ron Adair, a Fort Yukon dentist.
"They get to come they get the experience of doing dentistry for an under served population, they feel good about it and we. the patients the native americans receive the dentistry that they badly need."
The global outreach program is run by New York University which partners with Louisiana State University and Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health.