Minnesota lawmakers propose $20M for dental hygiene, assisting programs

Lawmakers in Minnesota have introduced legislation to create a $20 million grant appropriation designated for dental hygiene and dental assisting programs.

Senate File 4155 and House File 4375 will allow institutions to improve programs, train more hygienists and assistants, and alleviate workforce shortages, according to a March 5 news release from the Minnesota Dental Association. 

Community colleges, technical schools and universities that offer dental hygiene and assisting programs will be eligible for funding. Currently, all dental assisting and hygiene schools in the state are at full capacity, with more demand than available openings. 

Potential uses of grants include building and improving classroom and clinic spaces, student scholarships, and adding more staff and faculty.

The Minnesota Dental Association, Minnesota Educators of Dental Assisting and the Minnesota Dental Hygiene Educators Association helped lead the introduction of the legislation, the release said.

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