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The University of Florida recently made a public announcement of plans to expand its existing dental school. This initiative has yet to move forward in a formal manner, as it must receive the approval of the Florida Board of Governors, according to the Gainesville Sun.
The news source reports that the college is one of three schools in Florida planning to make changes with regard to dental education. Two other post-secondary educational institutions in the state, the University of Central Florida and Florida A&M University, are planning, respectively, to start dental schools with enrollments of about 280 and 400 students.
Meanwhile, the University of Florida aims to add to its existing dental education program, incorporating the enrollment of 80 students over a five-year period.
Criticism has emerged regarding these proposed additions and expansions. Those opposed to the measures claim that the issues affecting the state of dental health care in Florida are not going to be effectively solved by facilitating the education of more dentists. More than a third of the state's oral health professionals are located in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, areas not experiencing deficiencies in dental care.
According to the American Dental Association, efforts to address problems with dental care throughout the U.S. include programs to bring dentists to areas with many low-income residents, initiatives to raise oral health awareness and community water fluoridation.
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