Iowa battles dentist shortage - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa battles dentist shortage

ANKENY (KWWL) - Fifty-five of Iowa's 99 counties are considered dental health professional shortage areas.

The Iowa Rural Dental Health is announcing the launch of its Web site to promote the Fulfilling Iowa's Need for Dentists (FIND) project. The Web site is designed for dentists looking to practice in shortage areas of Iowa and communities searching for a dentist.  The goal of the FIND project is to build broad community based coalitions to alleviate the critical shortage of dentists in underserved Iowa counties.

The FIND project enhances the Delta Dental of Iowa Loan Repayment Program that helps dentists with their dental education debt. The Web site supports the efforts of the FIND project to connect dentists looking to practice in Iowa and communities searching for a dentist.

The FIND Web site includes testimonials from past Delta Dental of Iowa Loan Repayment recipients about their experiences practicing in rural Iowa, a toolkit for communities looking for a dentist and profiles of communities actively recruiting a dentist.

"Through the project, dentists who commit to practice in underserved areas are eligible for grants of up to $100,000 to repay dental education debt," said Donn Hutchins, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa.

"The Web site will connect dentists looking for opportunities in Iowa with communities actively seeking a dentist," said Rand Fisher, president of Iowa Area Development Group. "A dental practice can have a significant impact on that community's economy, in addition to improving the access to dental care."

Communities seeking a dentist can also post information on the FIND Web site about opportunities for a dentist. There is a form for communities to complete that will promote these opportunities.

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt

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