African American Dentist Chat Room

In an effort to improve the oral health of African American men, who suffer greater rates of dental decay, periodontal disease, and oral cancer than the general population, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies has released Visible Differences: Improving the Oral Health of African American Males. This report was issued on June 10 in conjunction with National Men’s Health Week (June 13-19).

    At a press conference announcing the release of Visible Differences, a number of oral health experts and supporters were on hand to discuss the importance of this publication and to address growing concerns regarding the oral health of African American men.

    According to Dr. Richard Carmona, U.S. Surgeon General, oral diseases are among the most prevalent chronic conditions experienced by African American men, affecting their appearance and ability to eat and communicate. These diseases affect economic productivity and compromise the productivity of African American men at home, at school, and on the job. Dr. Carmona and Dr. Caswell Evans, Director of the National Oral Health Initiative and soon to be Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, stressed the need to address both financial and racial/ethnic barriers to dental care.

    The issue of access to care has received more attention recently, with athletes getting on board to help promote oral health care in minority communities. NBA player Eric Williams of the Cleveland Cavaliers was on hand to discuss his Believe in Me Foundation, which aims to help disadvantaged children get access to dental care. Mr. Williams spoke of his own experiences as a child who was unable to get dental care and how his embarrassment about his teeth drove him to skip school when he was supposed to deliver an oral report. His Believe in Me Foundation is the first charitable venture in dentistry supported by an athlete. The foundation is also planning to sponsor a scholarship for a minority student at the School of Dental Medicine at Tufts University.

    Also at the press conference, Dr. Ronald Inge, Associate Executive Director, Division of Dental Practice of the American Dental Association, addressed the issue of diversity in dentistry. Dr. Inge called attention to the small numbers of African American dentists and dental students and the need to attract more minority students to all science-based professions. He also underscored the need for role models in attracting new students to these types of professions. Dr. Amid Ismail, Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, offered his hands-on experiences through his Detroit Oral Cancer Prevention Network, which aims to reduce the incidence and mortality of oral cancer in African American men.

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Professional Personal Statements in Dentistry

I help dentists and students of dentistry from all over the world to be selected for admission to advanced education programs.  I weave your ethnicity, travels, language and professional experience into an eloquent portrayal of the best that you can be and the contributions that you look forward to making to the underserved. I especially enjoy working on behalf of those clients whose stated long term goals represent a significant contribution to the progressive enrichment of humanity, particularly with respect to the Developing World.

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The Great Need for More Blacks in Dentistry

The need for more Blacks in health professions has reached critical levels.  Four new medical schools opened in 2009 in response to the call for an expanded physician workforce. 

But, “of the four new medical schools that opened only four African American students were admitted,” said Dr. Marc Nivet of the Association of American Medical Colleges.  “These are urgent issues that we face. We must hold institutions accountable for finding the talent available.”

The challenge to recruit dental students is even more critical.  Studies show that 50 million Americans live in areas where they can’t easily visit a dentist.

“We now have an opportunity (with the Affordable Care Act ACA) to improve access to dental health services,” said former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher at a conference last year. “But how do we put in place a health care system that meets the needs of all? Can we, in fact, increase the supply of oral health care providers by expanding the opportunity for people to serve? What the ACA said is that people should be able to practice to the full extent of their potential.”

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