Maine rolls out the red carpet for dental students

Dental organizers in Maine are pulling out all the stops to attract more dentists to some of its most rural towns, according to a story in the Bangor Daily News.

On October 2 the Maine Dental Association (MDA) sponsored a conference for 53 dental students at the Samoset Resort in Rockport to "showcase what a great place Maine is to live and practice," Frances Miliano, executive director of the MDA, told the Daily News.

The state already offers incoming dentists a partial loan repayment program through the Finance Authority of Maine and a pilot program that gives new dentists income tax credits. And next month voters across the state will decide whether to borrow $5 million to create a new dental school at the University of New England.

The biggest challenge is not getting dentists to move to Maine, but getting them to move to the right places, according to Jonathan Shenkin, former president of the MDA.

Four third- and fourth-year dental students from the University of Pittsburgh who attended the October 2 event had their trips subsidized with $200 in cash and free meals, funding provided by Northeast Delta Dental and the Maine Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. The students said Maine is the only state that has tried to recruit them, and two said they are now seriously considering relocating when they graduate.

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