University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center dental school receives $53M grant

The University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry in Memphis received a $52.9 million grant to increase the number of dentists and access to dental care in the state. 

The school, in collaboration with the state department of health, is launching the Health Smiles Initiative. Through the initiative, the dental school is increasing dental students per class from 110 to 130 and the dental hygiene class size from 35 to 50 students, according to a March 29 news release. 

With the funding, the doctor of dental science program will add 29 faculty members and the dental hygiene program will add eight. 

The school is also opening five new clinics in addition to the three currently operating. The clinics are supervised by faculty and staffed by fourth-year dental students and second-year dental hygiene students, providing dental care to uninsured and underinsured patients. 

The grant will be given to the school over a five year period, starting in 2023 through 2027, the release said.

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